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Nepomniachtchi takes title

Wang Hao.  

Eventual champion World No. 4 Ian Nepomniachtchi and Anish Giri, the two front-runners of the Candidates chess tournament till Monday, lost their 14th and final round encounters on Tuesday as the competition came to end, 406 days after it started.

Nepomniachtchi, assured of the title after Giri’s loss on Monday evening, surrendered rather tamely to the World No. 3 who signed off with three straight wins to make amends for an otherwise sub-par display in the 14-round contest.

The Russian was in the lead when the event was halted last March after seven rounds. On resumption, he did not let go of his lead and eventually ensured the title with a round to spare.

On Tuesday, Giri lost to Russia’s Kirill Alekseenko. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave took the second spot after beating Wang Hao. Fabiano Caruana drew with Alexander Grischuk to share the third spot with Giri.

Later, Wang Hao, 31, announced his retirement from professional chess.

14th round results:

Ding Liren (Chn) bt Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) bt Wang Hao (Chn); Anish Giri (Ned) lost to Kirill Alekseenko (Rus); Fabiano Caruana (USA) drew with Alexander Grischuk (Rus).

Final standings: 1. Nepomniachtchi (8.5 points), 2. Vachier (8), 3-4. Giri, Caruana (7.5 each), 5-6. Ding, Grischuk (7 each), 7. Alekseenko (5.5), 8. Hao (5).

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 7:14:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/nepomniachtchi-takes-title/article34433314.ece

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