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Candidates Day Eleven: Hyper-Bullet, the Breakfast of Champions

The eleventh spherical of the Candidates Match in Madrid has concluded. Ian Nepomniachtchi prolonged his result in an nearly insurmountable 1.5 factors with 3 rounds remaining by beating Alireza Firouzja, who ready for the sport in an uncommon approach.

Every day, Lichess is offering a broadcast of the video games performed in real-time. We even have a collection of annotated video games by GM Ulvi Bajarani and video recaps by WGM-elect Jesse February.

Alireza Firouzja – Ian Nepomniachtchi 0 – 1

The dialogue of this sport begins some 14 hours earlier than it began. Round that point Alireza logged onto Lichess and commenced taking part in 30-second video games with GM Daniel Naroditsky who was additionally in Madrid as a commentator. The match continued for some 5 hours, with Naroditsky popping out on prime 142–108. Most of the chess commentariat understandably questioned if this was the perfect pre-game night/morning for a chess participant taking part in within the greatest match of his life. 

Personally, I might agree that this type of factor is sub-optimal, nevertheless it’s not clear in any respect how a lot impact it had in the long run. Alireza was having a disappointing match lengthy earlier than hyper-bullet video games have been concerned, and the mathematics simply barely checks out for him to have gotten a superbly cheap quantity of sleep anyway.

The sport itself went south for Alireza rapidly. Nepomniachtchi performed the Petroff towards 1. e4 which now appears to be his go-to weapon. In a reasonably even place, Alireza lashed out with 16. g4 and 17 h4. Sadly for him, the king-side pawn storm had little or no impact. Nepomniachtchi’s items have been pushed away by the wave of pawns, however solely to reach at higher squares than they sat on earlier than. The place remained muddy for just a few strikes, however that is properly inside the calculation talents of a Tremendous GM and on transfer 35 Alireza resigned.

Nepomniachtchi sits on an unbelievable +5 rating, or 8/11. That is in an occasion the place +2 or +3 is commonly sufficient to win.

Credit: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Fabiano Caruana – Liren Ding 0 – 1

A Ruy Lopez appeared to be stepping into Fabi’s course, even arriving at positions that our esteemed GM annotator would name successful. Sadly, the benefit slipped away and Ding arrived to a place that he wouldn’t worry defending. Possibly this sport might have been rapidly drawn below different circumstances, however with the match state of affairs being what it’s, attracts weren’t sufficient to convey the 2 gamers again into rivalry. So the sport continued on, and to not Caruana’s profit. As we arrived to maneuver 70 of this marathon affair, Ding had a strong benefit, which he managed to push by way of to a full level after Caruana blundered with 75 Bc7. 

The win is Ding’s third straight and put him into clear second place on +2, only a level in need of Nepomniachtchi’s successful rating within the final Candidates Match. Nonetheless, the requirements are a bit increased this time. In the meantime, Caruana has now tail-spinned to gaining 0.5 factors in his final 4 video games and has fallen all the way in which right down to fourth place.

Credit: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Hikaru Nakamura – Richard Rapport ½ – ½

The primary large shock arrived on transfer 1; A Sicilian! I nearly thought they’d abolished that opening given how little it’s been performed on this occasion. Maybe such flights of fancy aren’t acceptable for critical grown-up candidates chess.

The road they performed maybe gave away why the opening has dropped in reputation as they arrived to maneuver 15 with many earlier Grandmaster video games having the identical place. Transfer 17 was the primary “novelty,” and never one that’s more likely to catch on. Nakamura gained a pawn whereas permitting his opponent plenty of exercise and the two bishops. The identical alternate was rapidly executed in reverse, and though the sport limped on for 94 strikes, there was by no means any vital benefit for both participant.

Credit: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Teimour Radjabov – Jan-Krzysztof Duda ½ – ½

The aggressive perfection of the double round-robin format may be simply overrated, and this sport is a primary instance. In case you put two GMs in a aggressive state of affairs the place they each must win, you’re more likely to see a really fascinating sport. In case you put them in a state of affairs the place neither one will see a lot level in combating for a win, they may dutifully preserve their energies for a second after they do.

This sport was precisely the type of sport you’d count on from two gamers hanging across the backside of the desk, safely past any sturdy risk of successful.

Credit: FIDE/Stev Bonhage



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