23-year-old underdog Kirill Alekseenko had been under pressure in his first two games back, but his resilience against Alexander Grischuk was ultimately rewarded with a first win, while he pulled off the impressive feat of outpreparing Fabiano Caruana. He called his clash against compatriot Ian Nepomniachtchi an “awful game”, however, and it was hard to disagree.
Ian Nepomniachtchi has taken a one-point lead over his three pursuers with just four rounds of the FIDE Candidates Tournament to go. He surprised Kirill Alekseenko in the opening and was essentially winning in a dozen moves. Elsewhere Caruana-Ding Liren and MVL-Giri were exciting battles that ended drawn, while Wang Hao-Grischuk was also drawn, but an extraordinary spectacle. Alexander Grischuk spent 1 hour and 12 minutes on move 11, but later had winning chances when Wang Hao gave up his queen and lost his way in the complications.
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