Russian grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi.  / Alexey Filippov/RIA Novosti

Russian grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi. / Alexey Filippov/RIA Novosti

Russian grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi has won the first round of the Candidates Tournament in Madrid for the title of world chess champion, which will last until July 4. Among the eight participants, only one Russian – Ian Nepomniachtchi.

In the first round, he played as black against the Chinese representative Ding Liren, who replaced the Russian Sergey Karyakin, who was suspended by FIDE for half a year. Throughout the game, Nepomniachtchi had an advantage, which he eventually managed to turn into a victory.

In addition, Fabiano Caruana defeated Hiraka Nakamura in a confrontation with chess players from the United States. Teymur Radjabov from Azerbaijan and the representative of France Alireza Firouzja, as well as the Pole Jan-Krzysztof Duda and the Hungarian Richard Rapport finished their games in a draw.

In the second round, Ian Nepomniachtchi will play against Caruana. The winner of this tournament will qualify for a match against reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

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