21 April 2024

Ian Nepomniachtchi in Pursuit of FIDE Candidates' Leader

The tournament goes into the decisive round.

Photo credit: Michal Walusza / FIDE
Photo credit: Michal Walusza / FIDE

Round 13 of the FIDE Candidates finished in Toronto. 

In the open section, Nepomniachtchi vs. Nakamura ended in a draw. The opening gave the Russian grandmaster a promising position, but a single inaccuracy was enough for the American to get  counterplay, and soon White was forced to go for the repetition of moves. The duel between Santosh Vidit and Nijat Abasov ended quickly, and Dommaraju Gukesh took the lead in the competition by defeating Alireza Firouzja. Fabiano Caruana also kept the pace of the leading group. He managed to grind down Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa in a long endgame.  

Standings after Round 13:

1. Dommaraju Gukesh – 8.5 
2-4. Ian Nepomniachtchi, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana– 8
5. Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa – 6
6. Santosh Vidit Gujrathi  – 5.5
7. Alireza Firouzja – 4.5
8. Nijat Abasov – 3.5.

Round 14 pairings:

Nakamura – Gukesh
Caruana – Nepomniachtchi
Abasov – Praggnanandhaa
Firouzja – Vidit

In the women's tournament, the leader Tan Zhongyi quickly settled for a draw with Aleksandra Goryachkina after an early exchange of queens, while her rival Lei Tingjie was defeated by Rameshbabu Vaishali. Humpy Koneru drew Anna Muzychuk, and Kateryna Lagno could not convert her extra piece against Nurgyul Salimova - here, too, the forces were equal. 

Standings after Round 13:

1. Tan Zhongyi – 8.5
2. Lei Tingjie – 7.5
3-6. Aleksandra Goryachkina, Katerina Lagno, Humpy Koneru, Rameshbabu Vaishali – 6.5 
7-8. Anna Muzychuk, Nurgyul Salimova – 5.

Round 14 pairings:

Muzychuk – Tan Zhongyi
Lei Tingjie – Koneru
Lagno – Vaishali
Goryachkina – Salimova

If there is a tie for first place after 14 rounds, a playoff to determine the winner shall be played.

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