Aagaard on the Candidates: Round 5

For the fifth installment of his “Candidates Game of the Day” series, GM Jacob Aagaard has analyzed Ian Nepomniachtchi’s big Round 5 win over Wang Hao 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:

In order to understand this game fully, there are three concepts I would like to introduce.
1. Plus equal. One player has a slight advantage and will be able to pose the opponent continuous problems throughout the game. Only once the problems have been fully solved the draw will become obvious. A lot of players in the elite aim for this in their opening preparation, but it is not always so easy to achieve it.
2. The four types of black openings. The first type are bad openings. If White knows what he is doing he will get a real advantage out of the opening. Think of the Alekhine. The second type are the ones where one player have to show an inordinate knowledge and Precision in order to achieve equality. Then there is the third type, the one Wang Hao went for, where one player makes some minor concession in order to achieve solidity, with the intention of slowly neutralizing the pressure. Finally, we have the critical variations, where Black takes on the danger of losing the game horribly, but if he does not, he will get a fully equal game and often a lot of winning chances. Here we could think of the Najdorf. Alekseenko – Vachier-Lagrave today is a perfect example.
3. The principle of the worst placed piece. In simple positions (where there is minimal tactics) this is often an important factor. Improve the worst placed piece and your positions improve.


Previous “Aagaard on the Candidates” installments:

Round 1 – Giri-Nepomniachtchi
Round 2 – Caruana-Alekseenko
Round 3 – Ding Liren-Caruana
Round 4 – Vachier-Lagrave – Grischuk
Round 5 – Nepomniachtchi – Wang Hao

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