It looked like Ding Liren could’ve been the hero of the 5th round in Madrid, scoring the only decisive point of the day, but alas. 4 draws, no change in the standings and the same leader, Ian Nepomniachtchi.
After yesterday’s first rest day Ian Nepomniachtchi took the lead by defeating Alireza Firouzja in a sharp Najdorf, every other game ended in a draw. Two peaceful games and Caruana finally holding off Ding, surviving yet another unpleasant game.
Going into the first rest day, the tournament situation is not much clearer than it was one round ago. Two players are tied for first — Caruana and Nepomniachtchi on plus one. All games finished in a draw, even though there was no shortage of chess drama. Both Rapport and Nakamura pulled off major escapes, while Caruana almost overpressed with the White pieces.
The second act of the 14-round Candidates tournament paced at a much slower speed today. If the first round started with a bang, the next one slowly gained momentum and built up tension towards the only decisive game of the round.
Eight of the world’s best players have gathered at the spectacular Palace of Santoña in Madrid, Spain, to compete for the right to challenge the World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. The lead up to one of the most anticipated events of this year was rocky to say the least, as Ding Liren jumped in at the last moment.