Victorious Nepomniachtchi, Giri stay in title-hunt at Candidates Tournament

Ian Nepomniachtchi defeated a struggling Wang Hao to reach eight points before Ansh Giri, with his third win in four games, ended top seed Fabiano Caruana's title-aspirations.

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Ian Nepomniachtchi leads the pack at the end of the 12th round of the Candidates Tournament. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)   -  Getty Images

With four decisive rounds on view, leader Ian Nepomniachtichi and Anish Giri remained in the race to become Magnus Carlsen's challenger for the World crown after scoring emphatic victories in the 12th round of the Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg, in Russia, on Saturday.

Nepomniachtchi defeated a struggling Wang Hao to reach eight points before Giri, with his third win in four games, ended top seed Fabiano Caruana's title-aspirations. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave moved to the third spot by beating Kirill Alekseenko while Ding Liren redeemed some pride by stopping Alexander Grischuk.

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Two more rounds remain after the rest day on Sunday.

12th round results: Wang Hao (Chn, 5) lost to Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 8); Fabiano Caruana (Ned, 6) lost to Anish Giri (7.5); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 6.5) bt Kirill Alekseenko (Rus, 4.5); Ding Liren (Chn, 5) bt Alexander Grischuk (Rus, 5.5).