Candidates Chess Tournament: D Gukesh back on top after easy win against Vidit Gujrathi : The Tribune India

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Candidates Chess Tournament: D Gukesh back on top after easy win against Vidit Gujrathi

Candidates Chess Tournament: D Gukesh back on top after easy win against Vidit Gujrathi

D Gukesh’s win over Vidit Gujrathi came after 38 moves. - File photo



PTI

Toronto, April 14

India’s D Gukesh bounced back with a finely crafted game to outwit compatriot Vidit Gujrathi and regain his joint lead with Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia after the eighth round of the Candidates chess tournament here.

On a day when R Praggnanandhaa played out a draw with Firouza Alireza of France, Hikaru Nakamura sealed his supremacy in the all-American duel against Fabiano Caruana to come back into the reckoning for top honours.

Nepomniachtchi faltered in the early stages to allow tailender Nijat Abasov to get away with an easy draw.

With six rounds still to come, Gukesh and Nepomniachtchi have 5 points apiece and they are followed by Nakamura and Pragnanandhaa on 4.5 points each. Caruana is sole fifth on 4 points, followed by Gujrathi on 3.5 points, Alireza on 3 points and Abasov on 2.5 points.

Gukesh had his task cut out and went for a rare variation wherein he surprised Gujrathi as early as his fourth move. Gujrathi sank into long thought and ended up losing around 20 minutes on the clock. In the middle game, Gukesh seized control of the only open file and used his queen and rook for absolute domination. Vidit tried hard to resist but the pressure was quite unforgiving especially when he had less time. The game lasted 38 moves.

“These kind of clean games are rare at this level. In the opening, he had some inaccuracies and his position was unpleasant and I was in control,” Gukesh said when asked if he was surprised how he won as black without much counterplay.

In the women’s section, Koneru Humpy scored a victory over compatriot R Vaishali out of a queen pawn game to jump to 3.5 points.

The course of the event changed a bit in this section as Tingjie Lei of China accounted for her Chinese teammate Zhongyi Tan to throw the event open. Zhongyi’s domination was halted as Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia and Lei joined her in the lead on 5 points out of a possible eight.

Russian Kateryna Lagno is within striking distance of the three leaders on 4.5 points with Humpy and Nurgyul Salimova sharing the fifth spot on 3.5 points each. Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine stands seventh on three points, while Vaishali is on the last spot on 2.5 points.

#Canada #Chess #Russia #Toronto


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