The number one seed Fabiano Caruana gave a good match and statue right from the start, to defeat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in round eight of the Candidates chess tournament on April 19.

Candidates players must prepare to start carefully, but in the eighth round only Caruana showed the most when the white army met Vachier-Lagrave. In the first 25 countries, Caruana goes without much calculation. After the 25th water, Caruana had more than 105 minutes left, while Vachier-Lagrave had 34 minutes left. The number one seed player who relies heavily on memory when preparing for the opening variant of the Defense of Sicily, turns Najdorf.

Position after move 18 ... Qxc4.  Vachier-Lagrave recently used a post-dinner experiment from Caruana.  At this time, White takes a good shot and a statue.  The computer evaluates Black Pros, but Vachier-Lagrave needs to find a sequence of moves like a computer - which he cannot do after that.

Position after move 18 … Qxc4. Vachier-Lagrave recently used a post-dinner experiment from Caruana. At this time, White takes a good shot and a statue. The computer evaluates Black Pros, but Vachier-Lagrave needs to find a sequence of moves like a computer – which he cannot do after that.

The fact that the success of the three pawns in the Najdorf Defense is not new, as it is called the “Poisonous Pawns” variable. But, Caruana’s 18.Bc4 experimental water has never appeared in the past. When watching the game, the players were impressed with this move.

“Caruana created a wonderful new opening move against Vachier-Lagrave,” commented chess player Le Quang Liem. “Vachier-Lagrave defended stubbornly, but ended up losing after six hours. Only time will tell whether 18.Bc4 is a transient, or will become a new trend.”

The idea for Bc4 water, aided by Caruana – General Rustam Kasimdzhanov – came up months ago, when the two were preparing for Candidates. Caruana had a chance to test this opening at the Tata Steel super tournament in January 2021, but he didn’t use it because he thought the move was too strong to try at Tata Steel.

Caruana (left) showed great preparedness to win against opponents who were not strong in the beginning like Vachier-Lagrave.  Photo: FIDE

Caruana (left) showed great preparedness to win against opponents who were not strong in the beginning like Vachier-Lagrave. Image: FIDE

Vachier-Lagrave also lost two games in the “Poisonous Pawns” variable at Tata Steel, but he still recklessly picked it up when he met Caruana. In fact, he found the water that responded well 19 … Nf6, surprising Caruana. Black stands back, balancing the chessboard. However, the computer thinks that the only water that helps Black maintain its dominance is 19 … Bxd4.

In the middle, Caruana gradually prevailed because the black king fell into a dangerous position, and the troops could not deploy. He caught a black car and better quality, although good damage. Caruana gradually caught all of his opponents in the end and won after 74 moves.

The win put Caruana ahead with the main point Vachier-Lagrave, both half a point below the top of Ian Nepomniachtchi’s group. Also in the eighth round, Kirill Alekseenko suddenly defeated Alexander Grischuk. So after round eight, there are no players unbeaten.

Round results eight: Caruana 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave, Vuong 1/2 – 1/2 Dinh, Nepomniachtchi 1/2 – 1/2 Giri, Alekseenko 1-0 Grischuk

The schedule for round nine, at 6 pm Tuesday, April 20, Hanoi time: Alekseenko – Caruana, Grischuk – Nepomniachtchi, Giri – Vuong, Dinh – Vachier-Lagrave

Scorecard after round eight

TT Chess players nationality Point
first Nepomniachtchi Russia 5
2 Caruana America 4.5
3 Vachier-Lagrave France 4.5
4 Giri Netherlands 4
4 United China 4
6 Alekseenko Russia 3.5
7 Grischuk Russia 3.5
8 Nail China 3

Xuan Binh


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