Nepomniachtchi Leads Levitov Chess Week With 1 Day To Go
Ian Nepomniachtchi is on 4/5 in Amsterdam. | Photo: Peter Doggers/

Nepomniachtchi Leads Levitov Chess Week With 1 Day To Go

| 18 | Chess Event Coverage

Thanks to a score of 2.5/3 on Monday, Ian Nepomniachtchi is the leader after five rounds at the Levitov Chess Week in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The last two rounds will be played on Tuesday.

After winning the Moscow Grand Prix, Nepomniachtchi definitely had his chances last week in the Paris Grand Chess Tour as well. The 29-year-old Russian GM, born in the same year as Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin, is now the world number-seven in classical chess and definitely in a good phase of his career.

He's also a player who has other interests besides chess. Nepomniachtchi is known to have played the esport Dota 2 (he even visited the Dota 2 world championship in Seattle once as a spectator). These days you can find him involved in the latest hit on Twitch: Auto Chess. It's a game that has little to do with chess besides the fact that there's a board with 64 squares.

Ian Nepomniachtchi Autochess Levitov Chess Week 2019
Nepomniachtchi playing Auto Chess in between rounds, with Grischuk and Svidler watching. | Photo: Lennart Ootes.

Whether Auto Chess inspired him or not, Nepomniachtchi had an excellent second day of rapid in Amsterdam. With two wins and one draw he grabbed the lead, ahead of Vishy Anand.

In round three, Nepomniachtchi defeated Vladimir Kramnik, who lost all three games on Tuesday. It was Kramnik who was a healthy pawn up, but later lost the thread. He survived the first wave of complications, but not the second.

After drawing a slightly better endgame with Boris Gelfand, Nepomniachtchi also beat Anand, who was leading with 3.5/4 at that point. The Russian GM used the same line in which Carlsen had beaten this year in Stavanger. Apparently this bishop pair is worth something...

Ian Nepomniachtchi Levitov Chess Week 2019
Ian Nepomniachtchi. | Photo: Peter Doggers/ 

Alexander Grischuk recently jumped on the Sveshnikov bandwagon (he played it in two games vs. Wesley So at the Moscow Grand Prix) and defeated Peter Svidler with it, who played the trendy 7.Nd5. Grischuk felt his position was already quite comfortable after he could play ...f5-f4 and after winning the exchange he found a nice finish:

Alexander Grischuk Levitov Chess Week 2019
Alexander Grischuk. | Photo: Peter Doggers/ 

In round four, Anand and Kramnik played their 198th(!) game and after this win for the Indian player the score is now 31 wins for Anand to 29 for Kramnik, with 138 draws.

Anand felt more comfortable in the middlegame because of Black's doubled pawns, but was reluctant to give an evaluation without having looked at the game with a computer. It does look like he played an excellent game here.

Vishy Anand Levitov Chess Week 2019
Vishy Anand. | Photo: Peter Doggers/ 

2019 Levitov Chess Week Rapid | Round 5 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Nepomniachtchi,Ian 2774 2977 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 4.0/5
2 Anand,Viswanathan 2756 2874 0 1 ½ 1 1 3.5/5
3 Gelfand,Boris 2686 2824 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 3.0/5 6.5
4 Giri,Anish 2779 2798 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 3.0/5 5.25
5 Grischuk,Alexander 2759 2792 0 ½ ½ 1 1 3.0/5 5
6 Svidler,Peter 2729 2582 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1.5/5 3.75
7 Kramnik,Vladimir 2753 2581 0 0 0 ½ 1 1.5/5 2
8 Bareev,Evgeny 2643 2374 0 0 0 ½ 0 0.5/5

On Tuesday, rounds six and seven will be played.

2019 Levitov Chess Week Rapid | Games rounds 1-5

Hands and Brains 2019 Levitov Chess Week
More chess was played on Monday, such as a hand-and-brain battle... | Photo: Peter Doggers/ 
Hands and Brains 2019 Levitov Chess Week
The tournament organizer Ilya Levitov teamed with Judit Polgar. | Photo: Peter Doggers/ 
Hands and Brains 2019 Levitov Chess Week
The Dutch Chess Federation chairwoman Marleen van Amerongen and New in Chess editor Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam were the opponents. The score was 1-1. | Photo: Peter Doggers/ 

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