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Nepomniachtchi Beats Wang Hao, Leads FIDE Candidates Tournament

GM Ian Nepomniachtchi is the sole leader after five rounds at the FIDE Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg thanks to a win vs. GM Wang Hao with the white pieces. GM Anish Giri was close to getting a winning advantage against GM Fabiano Caruana but ultimately failed to find the proper square for his rook.

While the death toll in Italy is especially horrifying and the everyday life of almost anyone on the planet is affected in one way or another by the coronavirus, the chess players in Yekaterinburg continue to just do their thing. The show must go on, say the Russian organizers.

With so much at stake for an individual player, it wouldn’t make much sense to just step out—though GM Teimour Radjabov did precisely that. Wang has expressed both before and during the tournament that he thinks the tournament shouldn’t be played. Today, GM Alexander Grischuk joined him when asked about his form:

“My form is terrible. I don’t want to play at all with this situation. When it was the beginning I didn’t have a clear opinion but now already for several days, I have a very clear opinion: that it should be stopped, this tournament. The whole atmosphere is very hostile. Everyone is with masks, also more security and so on…”

“For me, it’s very difficult. I just don’t want to play, don’t want to be here. Considering this, I am quite happy with my result but overall, it’s no coincidence that everything else has stopped. We are the only one left, the only major sport event in the world. I think it should be stopped and postponed.” (Read more). Photo and news:


Ariel Arrieta is an avid chess fan and a varsity chess player who loves promoting Chess everywhere. He founded (Chess Set Online) to help promote the game of chess anywhere in the world.

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