Candidates Chess: Wang Hao stuns Ding Liren

The day's only other decisive result of the day was Anish Giri of the Netherlands going down to Ian Nepomniachtchi of host Russia.

Ding Liren (L) and Wang Hao pictured during the 2020 FIDE Candidates chess tournament.   -  Getty Images

Wang Hao stunned fellow-Chinese Ding Liren in the opening round of the Candidates Chess tournament. Liren is seeded second in the tournament and was playing with white pieces.

The day's only other decisive result also went in favour of Black, as Anish Giri of the Netherlands went down to Ian Nepomniachtchi of host Russia.

On the top board, France's Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who is here only because Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan pulled out after his request to postpone the tournament in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak was turned down by world chess governing body FIDE, held firm favourite Fabiano Caruana of the United States to a draw.

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The game between the two Russians, Alexander Grischuk and Kirill Alekseenko, was drawn.

The tournament, perhaps the highest-profile sporting event taking place across the globe at the moment, is played on a double round-robin basis (the participants will play each other twice). The winner will become eligible to challenge World champion Magnus Carlsen later in the year.  

Thirteen rounds remain.

The results (first round)

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) 0.5 drew with Fabiano Caruana (US) 0.5; Ding Liren (Chn) 0 lost to Wang Hao (Chn) 1; Anish Giri (Ned) 0 lost to Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) 1; Alexander Grischuk (Rus) 0.5 drew with Kirill Alekseenko (Rus) 0.5.

 

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