Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for Sunday, April 25 2021.

Round 12 of the 2020-2021 FIDE Candidates was truly historic with all games finishing with decisive results. GM Anish Giri’s impressive victory with the black pieces eliminated Fabiano Caruana from contention but the tournament leader Ian Nepomniachtchi also earned a full point in his defeat Wang Hao so Nepo remains a half point ahead of Giri. Round 12 also saw Maxime Vachier-Lagrave bounce back by defeating Kirill Alekseenko and Ding Liren return to form by defeating Alexander Grischuk. I will, of course, look at the key moments from these games in the near future. But for now, I want to focus on the fact that with just two rounds left to be played only three players remain in contention to win the 2020-2021 FIDE Candidates Tournament and only 1 question remains to be answered: Can Ian Nepomniachtchi continue to hold off the Anish Giri and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and become the next candidate for the World Championship?

As always, I recommend visiting https://en.candidates-2020.com/about for more information and live broadcast links of this year’s tournament. However, if your schedule doesn’t allow you to stay up all night watching the event live, I humbly advocate coming to this YouTube channel to see recaps of the day’s excitement in my daily chess musings. 


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Email: DailyChessMusings@gmail.com

All pictures of the players and games are from the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020-2021 website @ https://en.candidates-2020.com/

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.24”]
[Round “12”]
[White “Caruana,F”]
[Black “Giri,A”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “2763”]
[ECO “B40”]
[EventDate “2020.03.15”]
[WhiteElo “2842”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.a3 Be7 7.Be3 O-O 8.Be2 d6
9.Qd3 Bd7 10.f4 e5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.O-O exf4 13.Bxf4 Be6 14.Qg3 Nd7 15.Rad1
Re8 16.Kh1 Qb8 17.b4 Ne5 18.b5 Rc8 19.bxc6 Rxc6 20.Nd5 Qf8 21.c3 Rac8 22.Rc1
Ng6 23.Bd2 Bh4 24.Qe3 Rc5 25.c4 h6 26.Qb3 Bg5 27.Bxg5 hxg5 28.Qg3 Qd8 29.Rcd1
Bxd5 30.exd5 Nf4 31.Qf2 R8c7 32.Rd4 Qe8 33.Bf3 Rxc4 34.Rxc4 Rxc4 35.Qxa7 Ra4
36.Qf2 Rxa3 37.h4 Qe5 38.hxg5 Qxg5 39.Re1 Ra8 40.Be4 Ra2 41.Rb1 Ra8 42.Re1 f5
43.Bb1 Kf7 44.Re3 Rh8+ 45.Kg1 Nxg2 0-1

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.24”]
[Round “12”]
[White “Ding Liren”]
[Black “Grischuk,A”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2777”]
[ECO “D37”]
[EventDate “2020.03.15”]
[WhiteElo “2805”]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 Nbd7 7.c5 Nh5 8.Bd3 Nxf4
9.exf4 b6 10.b4 a5 11.a3 c6 12.O-O Ba6 13.Ne2 Qc7 14.h4 h6 15.g3 Bc4 16.Qc2
b5 17.Rfe1 Ra7 18.Nc3 Rfa8 19.Rab1 axb4 20.axb4 Bxd3 21.Qxd3 Bf6 22.h5 Ra3
23.Qc2 Be7 24.Kg2 Bf6 25.Rec1 Bd8 26.Qe2 Bf6 27.Rc2 Qb8 28.Rbb2 Bd8 29.Nb1
R3a6 30.Ne5 Nf6 31.Nd2 Bc7 32.Nb3 Qe8 33.Nc1 Ra4 34.Ncd3 Ne4 35.g4 R8a6 36.f3
Nf6 37.Kf2 Ra1 38.Ra2 Qa8 39.Nc1 R1xa2 40.Rxa2 Ra3 41.Rxa3 Qxa3 42.Qd2 Bxe5
43.dxe5 Nd7 44.Ne2 f6 45.exf6 e5 46.fxg7 e4 47.Qc3 1-0

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.24”]
[Round “12”]
[White “Vachier Lagrave,M”]
[Black “Alekseenko,K”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2698”]
[ECO “B12”]
[EventDate “2020.03.15”]
[WhiteElo “2767”]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 dxe4 4.fxe4 e5 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.c3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Qc7 8.dxe5 Bxf3
9.Qxf3 Qxe5 10.Bf4 Qh5 11.Nd2 Nbd7 12.O-O-O Nb6 13.Bb3 Be7 14.Rhg1 Qxf3
15.gxf3 g6 16.Nc4 Nxc4 17.Bxc4 b5 18.Bb3 Nd7 19.Bxf7+ Kxf7 20.Rxd7 Ke6 21.Rc7
Rhc8 22.Rxc8 Rxc8 23.Be3 a5 24.Kd2 a4 25.f4 Rd8+ 26.Ke2 Rf8 27.Kf3 Rd8 28.Rc1
c5 29.c4 b4 30.Ke2 Rd7 31.Rd1 Rxd1 32.Kxd1 Bf8 33.Kc2 Be7 34.b3 a3 35.Kd3 Bf8
36.Bf2 Be7 37.Ke3 Bd8 38.Kf3 Be7 39.Kg4 h5+ 40.Kf3 Bf8 41.Bh4 Bd6 42.e5 Bc7
43.Ke4 Ba5 44.Bg5 Bb6 45.Bh6 1-0

[Event “FIDE Candidates 2020”]
[Site “Yekaterinburg RUS”]
[Date “2021.04.24”]
[Round “12”]
[White “Wang Hao”]
[Black “Nepomniachtchi,I”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “2774”]
[ECO “C01”]
[EventDate “2020.03.15”]
[WhiteElo “2762”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d3 Nf6 6.d4 d5 7.Bd3 Bd6 8.Qe2+ Qe7
9.Qxe7+ Kxe7 10.O-O Nc6 11.c3 h6 12.Nh4 Re8 13.Nf5+ Bxf5 14.Bxf5 Kf8 15.g3
Ne7 16.Bh3 Nc8 17.Nd2 a5 18.a4 c6 19.Rd1 h5 20.Nf1 g6 21.f3 Nb6 22.b3 Kg7
23.Kf2 Nbd7 24.Bg5 Nf8 25.Re1 Ne6 26.Be3 Rac8 27.Bd2 c5 28.dxc5 Bxc5+ 29.Kg2
Bb6 30.Rab1 Rc6 31.b4 Nc7 32.Rxe8 Ncxe8 33.bxa5 Bxa5 34.Rxb7 Nd6 35.Ra7 Bxc3
36.Bd7 Nxd7 37.Bxc3+ Rxc3 38.Rxd7 Rc6 39.Re7 Rc2+ 40.Kg1 d4 41.Rd7 Nf5 42.a5
Ra2 43.Ra7 Kf6 44.a6 h4 45.Ra8 h3 46.a7 Ke7 47.g4 Nd6 48.Rb8 Rxa7 49.Rb4 d3
50.Rb3 Ra2 51.Rxd3 Nc4 52.Ng3 Rg2+ 53.Kh1 Kf8 54.Rc3 Nb2 55.Rc8+ Kg7 56.Rd8
Rf2 57.Kg1 Rxf3 58.Ne4 Re3 59.Ng3 Ra3 0-1

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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