Monday 23 March 2020

Creating Weakness

The last 2 rounds of the 2020 Candidates Tournament has seen 7 of the 8 games drawn. The one exception was last nights game between Nepo and  Hao Wang. While Wang had been considered an outsider to win this event, he was my 'dark horse' tip, at least until now.
The choice of the Petroff may have indicated some peaceful intent on Wang's part, but Nepo chose 13.h4 to liven up the game ('A mouse slip' was one online comment). While this did not lead to any immediate advantage, it did payoff a number of moves later when the pawn reached h6. Wang did not wish to weaken his own pawn structure by taking the pawn, but a few moves later Nepo was able to move his queen along the 8th rank, leaving Wang facing threats of Qxh7 and Qg7. This turned out to be enough to win the game, as Wang was forced to give up a piece, and he resigned shortly after.

Nepomniachtchi,Ian (2774) - Wang,Hao (2762) [C42]
FIDE Candidates Tournament (5.4), 22.03.2020

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