Candidates Chess: Ding Liren bounces back, beats Fabiano Caruana

Top seed Fabiano Caruana's ambitious plan to surprise Ding Liren backfired in the third round of the Candidates chess tournament.

Ding Liren of China (left), beat top seed Fabiano Caruana in the third round at the Candidates chess tournament at Yekaterinburg.   -  FIDE

Top seed Fabiano Caruana's ambitious plan to surprise Ding Liren backfired in the third round of the Candidates chess tournament. The American lost, as his second-seeded Chinese rival finally was able to post a point.

Liren had lost the last two games and had looked worried when Caruana, playing from the black side of a Slav Defence, sacrificed two pawns. The top seed succeeded in seeding doubts in his opponent's mind with his novelty on the ninth move. Liren had fallen behind the clock by about an hour after 20 moves.

But, soon he found that Caruana had little compensation for the two pawns. Black then gave up a knight for two pawns, on the 35 move, but he was clearly losing.

READ: Second-seed Ding Liren loses again

He resigned seven moves later.

All the other three games were drawn. As a result, Wang Hao of China, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France and Ian Nepomniachtchi of host Russia remained in the lead, with two points each, going into Friday's rest day.

Eleven rounds remain.

The results (third round): Ding Liren (Chn) 1 bt Fabiano Caruana (US) 1.5; Kirill Alekseenko (Rus) 1 drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) 2; Alexander Grischuk (Rus) 1.5 drew with Wang Hao (Chn) 2; Anish Giri (Ned) 1 drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) 2.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos