Candidates chess: Caruana misses win, stays in lead

Fabiano Caruana missed a clear winning opportunity against Ding Liren; the draw kept him half-point ahead of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

File Photo: Fabiano Caruana has six points after nine rounds.   -  Special Arrangement

Front-runner Fabiano Caruana missed a clear winning opportunity against Ding Liren and Vladimir Kramnik crashed to a sensational fourth loss in six rounds after an eventful ninth round of the FIDE Candidates chess tournament here on Tuesday.

Caruana’s 67-move deadlock raised his tally to six points and kept him half-point ahead of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who drew with Levon Aronian. Five rounds remain. Action will resume on Thursday after a day’s rest.

Kramnik, having scored 2.5 points from the first three rounds, has managed just one point since then.

The former World champion sacrificed a rook for a pawn on the 20th move against Sergey Karjakin but could not make any significant progress.

Karjakin defended well and an exasperated Kramnik, sensing that his gamble had failed miserably, resigned on the 41st move. As things stand, Kramnik, Wesley So and Aronian, ranked third, fourth and fifth in the world, are placed eighth, seventh and sixth on the points-table.

Ninth-round results
  • Fabiano Caruana (USA, 6) drew with Ding Liren (Chn, 4.5); Levon Aronian (Arm, 3.5) drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 5.5); Wesley So (USA, 3.5) drew with Alexander Grischuk (Rus, 5); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 4.5) bt Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 3.5).

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