“Covidates” Round 7 - Allez les bleus

Ophi HettalwusChess

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave eases into first place in a crucial victory

Officially halfway through the Candidates Tournament, amid increasingly strong Russian and international actions against COVID-19, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave has unseated Ian Nepomniactchi from first place - with both on 4.5 from 7 games, but Vachier-Lagrave nudging ahead by tiebreak. 

(Photo credit: Maria Emelianova for FIDE)

Nepomniactchi opted for a French Defence which went down the sharp Winawer line - ultimately allowing Vachier-Lagrave to push too many threats and collapse black’s defences. 

(Maria Emelianova for FIDE)

The rest of the day’s action was caught by GM Jon Speelman. Watch his recap of round 7 to see the rest of the action and have the main lines and ideas behind the play explained!

Lichess’s coverage of the Candidates Tournament will continue from 11:00 GMT tomorrow for round 8, with IM Alex Astaneh Lopez streaming live from our Twitch and YouTube channels.