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GM Joel’s Chess Week Recap - Episode 147

Opening: B23, B36, C22, D97, B15:

Player(s): Andreikin, Vachier-Lagrave, Navara, Jakovenko, Wei, Karjakin, Nepomniachtchi, Kosteniuk, Phatz

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave came to the Holy Land with a lot at stake, being the front runner to land the last qualifying spot for the Candidates Tournament from the Grand Prix (Alexander Grischuk has already grabbed the first place). He won his second-round match with Dmitry Andreikin by besting him in a real 21st-century game that featured great complications. Two of the semi-finalists are a bit of a surprise. David Navara first defeated Wang Hao and then knocked off Dmitry Jakovenko in a nice technical exercise. Sergey Karjakin worked very hard in his first-round match, finally outlasting Pentala Harikrishna in the Armageddon. He couldn't have looked forward to a long next match against Wei Yi; the young Chinese player moved through in six games. Karjakin made a comeback after losing in round three, but couldn't pull it off a second time. Wei Yi, who defeated Anish Giri to start, took some liberties in the third game, which could very well have had an opposite result. Ian Nepomniachtchi has the Candidates Tournament on his mind. He is in the mix for the wild card selection, but outright victory in Jerusalem will give him the automatic qualification. That is also the only way for MVL not to make the Candidates. But unfortunately for MVL, Nepo, who has already eliminated Wesley So, who had a long-shot chance to qualify, is his highly motivated third-round opponent and has already struck blood. If MVL cannot even the score, he will have to root heavily for the winner of Navara-Wei YI, who have drawn their first match.

Download Joel's annotated games HERE!

Teacher's library (435) B23 B36 C22 D97 B15 Andreikin Vachier-Lagrave Navara Jakovenko Wei Karjakin Nepomniachtchi Kosteniuk Phatz recap

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