Anishiative! (FIDE Candidates 2020-21 - Rounds 11–12)

GM Anish Giri, photo by Lennart Ootes. Source: official website

It is still not known who will be the winner of a FIDE Candidates Tournament, we have two more rounds, but in five rounds so far, absolute star was Anish Giri, Russo-Nepali Dutchman who came back to Yekaterinburg with a penchant for winning…

Anish made three wins, two draws, four points out of five, and he is only half a point behind the leader, Ian Nepomniachtchi. He won both Chinese Grandmasters, and probably regrets that there were no more players from China in the tournament.

Rd. 8 GM Nepomniachtchi, I. | ½-½ | GM Giri, Anish
Rd. 9 GM Giri, Anish | 1-0 | GM Wang, Hao
Rd. 10 GM Vachier-Lagrave, M. | ½-½ | GM Giri, Anish
Rd. 11 GM Giri, Anish | 1-0 | GM Ding, Liren
Rd. 12 GM Caruana, F. | 0-1 | GM Giri, Anish

Enough for a hope, but we shall see if it will be enough for the title match. Let’s see the results from the previous two rounds.

The results of the Round 11 and Round 12:

WhiteRound 11Black
GM Nepomniachtchi, I.½-½GM Caruana, F.
GM Giri, Anish1-0GM Ding, Liren
GM Alekseenko, K.½-½GM Wang, Hao
GM Grischuk, A.1-0GM Vachier-Lagrave, M.

WhiteRound 12Black
GM Caruana, F.0-1GM Giri, Anish
GM Vachier-Lagrave, M.1-0GM Alekseenko, K.
GM Ding, Liren1-0GM Grischuk, A.
GM Wang, Hao0-1GM Nepomniachtchi, I.

Anish today literally stomped over the Caruana’s dream to repeat the title match with Carlsen. But let’s see first yesterday’s game against Ding Liren, because it shows how well prepared Giri is:

GM Anish Giri vs GM Ding Liren

The Candidates Tournament 2020/21 – Round 10, Yekaterinburg, April 23th, 2021
Ruy Lopez: Closed, Delayed Exchange

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Bxc6

C85 Ruy Lopez: Closed, Delayed Exchange

This is a surprise prepared for this special occasion. Giri never played it before.

6… dxc6 7. d3 Bd6

But Liren admitted he didn’t prepare this line seriously, and that 7… Bd6 was decided over the board. And that was quite good idea, because…

8. Nbd2 Be6 9. Nb3 Qe7 10. Na5 O-O-O 11. Qe2 Bg4 12. c3 c5 13. a3 c6 14. b4 Bc7 15. Nb3 Nd7 16. h3 Bh5 17. Be3 f5 18. Bxc5 Qf7 19. Rab1 g5

19 potez-2021-04-25_000303.jpg

…he really had a good position and a nice initiative on the King’s side. But then the focus drops…

20. exf5 g4?

…and Giri takes over Anishiative like a true chess predator!

21. Ng5 Qxf5 22. h4 b6 23. Ne4!

23 potez-2021-04-25_000730.jpg

Let’t be fair to the stupid machine, Giri didn’t have to sac a Bishop, since 23. Be3 was also winning. But who could resist a temptation of such a beauty?

23… bxc5 24. bxc5 Nf6 25. Nd6+ Bxd6 26. cxd6 Rxd6 27. d4 c5 28. Nxc5 Re8 29. Qc4 Black resigns under the numerous threats.

29 potez-2021-04-25_000938.jpg

You can follow full analysis of this game at or even better at Hikaru Nakamura channel!

The standing after twelwe rounds looks like this:

FIDE Candidates-2021-04-19_143846.jpg

1Nepomniachtchi, Ian8/122789
2Giri, Anish7.5/122776
3Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime6.5/122758
4Caruana, Fabiano6/122820
5Grischuk, Alexander5.5/122777
6Wang, Hao5/122763
7Ding, Liren5/122791
8Alekseenko, Kirill4.5/122696

In a stormy Round 12 all four games were decided. We will use a tournament rest day tomorrow to see another game by Anish Giri, even more impressive win over Fabiano Caruana.

Follow the tournament at


See you tomorrow!

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