The second day of the FIDE Candidates in Berlin was almost as hard fought as the first. This time there was just one decisive game, Alexander Grischuk defeated Wesley So who again got into major trouble early on and is the only player not on the scoreboard now.
Grischuk played a Ruy Lopez with an early d3 and just as in the first round Wesley So was doing fine and close to equality. 17...Rfe8 was the start of a wrong plan, he was much worse after 19...Nxe4 completely underestimating white's pressure on his kingside and he was completely lost after 22.Rc5 with Grischuk observing: "I just said to myself: 'I have all the pieces in attack and black defends with one bishop if there is no mate I just quit chess.' I cannot believe there is a defence for black." Even though Grischuk was in time pressure until move 40 his position was so good he could afford to be slightly inaccurate in realising his advantage.
"If you checkmate you don't have to make it to move 40." Grischuk.
"Once the rook got to g4 it's very annoying. I just totally underestimated the rook lift, I thought he'd play Rf4 instead of Rg4." Wesley So
Ding Liren and Fabiano Caruana played a very interesting Catalan which became extremely sharp after an exchange sacrifice. Although Caruana had the initiative it remained close to equality and well played by both sides. It may be that Ding missed an opportunity with 42.Qe1 after first time control but both seemed happy with a draw by then.
Vladimir Kramnik said he was happy to be on the white side of a Berlin Defence for a chance but for while he thought he had a large advantage at one stage it seems that this really wasn't the case and Sergey Karjakin held a draw.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov didn't seem too displeased to draw quickly with Lev Aronian after his long game in round 1. He didn't get any advantage from the opening and the game finished in a repetition.
Round 2 standings: 1st Kramnik 1.5pts, 2nd Mamedyarov 1.5pts, 3rd Caruana 1.5pts, 4th Grischuk 1pt, 5th Aronian 1pt, 5th Ding Liren 1pt, 7th Karjakin 0.5pts, 8th Wesley So 0pts.
Round 3 pairings: Karjakin-Grischuk, Aronian-Kramnik, Caruana-Mamedyarov, Wesley So-Ding Liren
|FIDE Candidates 2018 Berlin GER (GER), 10-28 iii 2018||cat. XXII (2786)|
|Round 2 (March 11, 2018)|
|Kramnik, Vladimir||- Karjakin, Sergey||½-½||55||C67||Ruy Lopez Berlin|
|Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||- Aronian, Levon||½-½||24||E32||Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2|
|Ding, Liren||- Caruana, Fabiano||½-½||46||E06||Catalan|
|Grischuk, Alexander||- So, Wesley||1-0||44||C84||Ruy Lopez Centre Attack|