The final round of the Candidates Tournament still included some excitement as a result of the possibility of a second-place finish if Magnus Carlsen decides against defending his title. This meant that the game between Ding Liren and Hikaru Nakamura had quite the stakes. Though the popular streamer would have finished in second place if he had clinched a draw with the Black pieces, he eventually fell short and ended up in fourth.
Elsewhere, Ian Nepomniachtchi headed with Jan-Krzysztof Duda to finish the tournament undefeated, scoring five wins and eight draws, resulting in a legendary performance in a field where every other player lost at least two games through fourteen rounds.
Radjabov defeats Rapport to a close in the third round.
Both players provided a spectacular spectacle as a result of the tournament. Rapport again took a standoff against the White pieces, and again, it didn't work out. He did build up a small advantage by move 16 but got himself in trouble with an ill-advised piece sacrifice.
Radjabov swiftly turned the tables on the young Hungarian and scored a stunning victory with the Black pieces to finish third on the tiebreakers, a remarkable result from a player known as one of the most dangerous and least in-form in this field.
DingLiren makes something out of nothing to pip Nakamura to the post.
Nakamura seemed to have everything under control. It was a quiet opening with little to no dynamics involved, and the evaluation found all zeroes deep into the middlegame. However, a single misstep was sufficient to put the position under wraps.
Ding Liren swiftly pleaded to establish a bind on the Black side of 35. Bd8? was the beginning of the end for the American streamer, but he continued to pressure, forcing out more and more mistakes from his opponent, and converting his advantage with move 58. A disappointing conclusion for Nakamura but he can nonetheless hold his head high.
Here's how the game works:
Nepo defeats Duda to end the tournament, putting a new high.
The young Polish grandmaster was not much-favorite to try and inflict a solitary defeat on the tournament's winner. The ensuing game was pleasant and quiet, quickly approaching a draw by the two players on the top and the bottom of the rankings.
After a spooky game of chess, Caruana falls even deeper into the abyss.
The final game of the Candidates Tournament lasted long into the night as Fabiano Caruana fought for half a point and his pride against Alireza Firouzja. At one point, the position was still volatile and relatively even until move 37. By this point, Firouzja was the only person who had a tangible advantage, and it appeared that Caruanas 37. f4 deep into time trouble would mark the end of the game.
After two hours of meticulous maneuvering, Caruana's ability ensured that he nearly returned a completely lost position to a draw. Once again, it was the clock that did him in: on move 60, he moved his knight to the wrong area, allowing Firouzja to infiltrate with his rook and finally close out the game, preserving himself from the danger of finishing in last place.
The final results of the FIDE 2022 Candidate Tournament will be found in this video.
- Ian Nepomniachtchi 9.5/14 winner
- Ding Liren 8/14
- Teimour Radjabov 7.5/14
- Hikaru Nakamura 7.5/14
- Fabiano Caruana 6.5/14
- Alireza Firouzja 6/14
- Jan-Krzysztof Duda 5.5/14
- Richard Rapport 5.5/14