Fabiano Caruana yesterday won his R7 Candidates 2022 game against Teimour Radjabov to continue trailing the leader Ian Nepomniachtchi by half a point. While Caruana played “the most difficult game he played in a long time“, Nepo defeated Rapport much simpler, as Rapport refused to repeat the moves for a draw and went into a clearly worse position which shortly after fell apart. (read more: Rapport was brave, but it didn’t pay off)
In the post-game interview, Caruana gave a deep analysis of his calculation in the thrilling game against Radjabov. He revealed he was afraid of blunders in an endgame, as he didn’t have enough time to calculate everything. Replay the game here. Being asked how it felt to watch the game between Rapport and Nepomniachtchi, Fabiano answered: “I felt kind of sick to be honest. I mean, it’s one of the most shocking games I’ve seen from a top player in a long time. The line that’s played is known. It’s been known for like a decade that it’s a draw. You don’t really go for this as White, and if you do go for it, you take a draw.“.
“I really don’t know why Richard didn’t know it (the line), or what was going on. Once you end up in that situation, that your preparation has gone wrong, he’s done an hour on the clock and he’s out of preparation, why is he going for this? I mean it’s totally insane. It’s some sort of hypnosis.” added Caruana on Rapport’s decision to not accept the draw. The moment Caruana saw Nepomniachtchi is about to win, he knew that he needs to deliver a victory to stay in the race for the 1st place: “Basically the only way I could play for a win in this game was in a safe way. It was just a pawn-up slightly better position and it’s not like I could do anything crazy to play for a win. And I probably wouldn’t do that anyway. So yeah it (game Richard – Nepo) didn’t affect me, it just really upset me.“. See the complete interview below.
Read more: Rapport on the R7 game vs Nepo: “I should probably throw away my computer” / R8 preview / R7 recap
Round 8 live games: Richard Rapport – Jan-Krzysztof Duda / Ian Nepomniachtchi – Ding Liren / Hikaru Nakamura – Fabiano Caruana / Alireza Firouzja – Teimour Radjabov
Featured photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage