Legends of Chess: Giri troubles Nepomniachtchi in drawn games

Anish Giri made Ian Nepomniachtchi suffer in their drawn first and third games of the deciding set in the semifinal of chess24 Legends of Chess.

Giri faces Nepomniachtchi in the third round semifinal for a spot in the final against Magnus Carlsen.

Anish Giri made Ian Nepomniachtchi suffer in their drawn first and third games of the deciding set in the semifinal of chess24 Legends of Chess on Sunday.

A day after Magnus Carlsen completed a second 2.5-0.5 thrashing of Peter Svidler to win the semifinal 2-0 and Giri rallied twice from deficit to stun Nepomniachtchi 4-3 and force the deciding set, the Russian struggled with black pieces to stay afloat.

At one stage, in Game One, Nepomniachtchi was six minutes ahead on time but Giri was toying with ideas of forcing the issue, after gaining a pawn majority on the queenside.

But Giri did not find the right continuation in time and let Nepomniachtchi improve his position. Eventually, the Russian recovered the pawn and forced a draw after 40 moves.

After a comfortable draw in the second game, Giri once again raised visions of taking the lead. He managed to collect a queenside pawn but Nepomniachtchi gained some counter-play on the kingside.

But once the Russian exchanged the rooks, the position appeared to be heading for a draw. Both players played a risk-free game in the last eight moves of the 45-move deadlock.

The results

Semifinal (Set three): Game One: Anish Giri (Ned) drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus); Game Two: Nepomniachtchi drew with Giri; Game Three: Giri drew with Nepomniachtchi.

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