Aagaard on the Candidates: Round 3

For the third installment of his “Candidates Game of the Day” series, GM Jacob Aagaard has analyzed Ding Liren’s stunning comeback victory over Fabiano Caruana as only he could – deeply, extensively, definitively. This is the analysis that the experts will be quoting tomorrow, and we have it exclusively here at Chess Life Online.

Below we provide Aagaard’s analysis in replayable format. For those who prefer paper, boards, and pieces, we have created a pdf version.

You can also check out an alternative replayable version posted in the ChessBase Cloud.

Aagaard writes:

The big game of the third round was obviously the first clash between the two pre-tournament favourites. After Ding Liren had lost yesterday, the Chinese rumour mill was that Ding had withdrawn from the tournament. But Ding was at the board for the start of the third round. If he managed to win the game, he would overtake Caruana on tie-break substantially and only be half a point behind him.

For this reason the opening choice was quite surprising from Caruana. He chose to come with a brand new idea on move nine, forcing his opponent to think, while feeling the pressure of not knowing when the computer he was obviously playing with, would find his choices wanting. To me it just seems overly risky. My best guess (and by no means the only scenario I can think of) is that Caruana had decided on this risky decision before the tournament and felt it was easier to go with his preparation than to change course on this very surprising scenario for round 3…


Previous “Aagaard on the Candidates” installments:

Round 1 – Giri-Nepomniachtchi
Round 2 – Caruana-Alekseenko
Round 3 – Ding Liren-Caruana


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