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Nakamura and Liren missed their chances to win on Round 5 of the 2022 Candidates

Round 5 of the 2022 Candidates Tournament ended with Hikaru Nakamura and Ding Liren missing an opportunity to win against Nepomniachtchi and Radjabov respectively.

Photos: Stev Bonhage/FIDE

Round 5 of the Candidates started with Manuel Alvarez Escudero making the ceremonial move at the game of Alireza Firouzja vs Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Escudero is now 100 years old, and just a few months ago he played (and won) for his team in the league of Madrid.

Fabiano Caruana – Richard Rapport

An insanely sharp game of only 24 moves has Caruana and Rapport. The American GM tried to surprise his opponent with the rare 6.g4 in the Sicilian, Taimanov defense that he actually used in the 2021 World Blitz Championship. Rapport blitzed out his next move 6...Ne7, and immediately deviated from that game.

The two GMs decided to end the game with a threefold repetition in a position with both kings being in the center of the board! But the real result came by Dina’s initiative!

Teimour Radjabov – Ding Liren

The Radjabov – Liren game kicked off with the Closed Catalan. Ding pressed with Black against Radjabov’s slightly overextended position, but needed to be very precise in order to exploit his advantage. The Chinese GM failed to do so and the game ended in a draw.

Alireza Firouzja – Jan-Krzysztof Duda

The Firouzja – Duda game started with the Petroff and Duda followed the game he played against Pouya Idani in the 2021 FIDE World Cup. After Firouzja missed some chances to apply more pressure and create winning opportunities, the game ended in a draw after 36 moves.

Hikaru Nakamura – Ian Nepomniachtchi

Another Petroff in the Nakamura – Nepomniachtchi game, with the American GM gaining advantage early in the game. Nepomniachtchi’s fast and inaccurate playing made everyone recall his games against Carlsen.

This time though, the Russian pulled off a huge escape to maintain his leading position with 3.5/5. “I think I got everything I wanted. I don’t know what objective evaluation is, but I think if I don’t have the sudden brain slip and play 25.Nd2... if I go 25.Nd4, it’s much better, if not winning.” Nakamura said after the game.

Join our broadcast with GM Daniil Yuffa and WIM Anna-Maja Kazarian, tomorrow at 13:00 UTC.

Round 6 Pairings:

Teimour Radjabov – Richard Rapport
Hikaru Nakamura – Ding Liren
Alireza Firouzja – Fabiano Caruana
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Jan-Krzysztof Duda

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