Candidates chess: Vachier-Lagrave snatches lead from Nepomniachtchi

Ian Nepomniachtchi's great run in the Candidates chess tournament finally came to an end on Thursday.

The Russian, who had been in the sole lead after posting two successive wins, was outplayed by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France in the seventh round.

The Frenchman, who faced French Defence from Nepomniachtchi, won in 42 moves and snatched the sole lead.

Nepomniachtchi, top seed Fabiano Caruana of the United States, China's Wang Hao, Anish Giri of the Netherlands and Russian Alexander Grischuk shared the second spot, with 3.5 points apiece.

Vachier-Lagrave, who is here only because Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan pulled out after his request to postpone the tournament in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak was turned down by the world chess governing body FIDE, said the game against Nepomniachtchi was a crucial one.

The results (seventh round): Fabiano Caruana (US) 3.5 drew with Wang Hao (Chn) 3.5; Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) 4.5 bt Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) 3.5; Ding Liren (Chn) 2.5 drew with Kirill Alekseenko (Rus) 2.5; Anish Giri (Ned) 3.5 drew with Alexander Grischuk (Rus) 3.5.

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