London Chess Classic: Nepomniachtchi wins a game, closes in on Caruana

Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi is now half a point behind leader Fabiano Caruana on 3.5 points.

 Ian Nepomniachtchi (right) defeated Michael Adams to move to the second position.

Ian Nepomniachtchi (right) defeated Michael Adams to move to the second position. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

For the first five rounds of the London Chess Classic, Fabiano Caruana was the only player who could post a win. The American, in fact, recorded two wins, but in round six, Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi gave him company.

Caruana’s lead thus was reduced to half a point. He is on four points, with five rounds remaining.

Nepomniachtchi, on account of his victory over local man Michael Adams, is on 3.5. World champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and World No. 2 Levon Aronian of Armenia are among the five players on three points. Viswanathan Anand and Russia’s Sergey Karjakin, who drew with each other, have 2.5 points each.

Friday report: Caruana one point ahead

Karjakin’s compatriot Nepomniachtchi won in 86 moves of Sicilian Najdorf against Adams. Black did well to convert his one-pawn advantage to one full point.

The day also saw Carlsen being let off the hook by Hikaru Nakamura of the United States. In their Scotch Game, the World champion was in considerable bother till White blundered on the 59th move. Thirteen moves later, the game was drawn by repetition.

  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) 3 drew with Fabiano Caruana (US) 4; Michael Adams (Eng) 2.5 lost to Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) 3.5; Hikaru Nakamura (US) 3 drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor) 3; So Wesly (US) 3 drew with Levon Aronian (Arm) 3; Viswanathan Anand (Ind) 2.5 drew with Sergey Karjakin (Rus) 2.5.
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