Candidates Chess Tournament: D Gukesh misses a trick as Ian Nepomniachtchi regains sole lead, R Praggnanandhaa holds Fabiano Caruana : The Tribune India

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Candidates Chess Tournament: D Gukesh misses a trick as Ian Nepomniachtchi regains sole lead, R Praggnanandhaa holds Fabiano Caruana

Candidates Chess Tournament: D Gukesh misses a trick as Ian Nepomniachtchi regains sole lead, R Praggnanandhaa holds Fabiano Caruana

R Praggnanandhaa and Fabiano Caruana share the second spot. PTI



PTI

Toronto, April 12

Grandmaster D Gukesh slipped from the joint top spot after suffering his first defeat, at the hands of Frenchman Firouzja Alireza, but teen prodigy R Praggnanandhaa played out an easy draw with American Fabiano Caruana in the seventh round of the Candidates chess tournament here.

Vidit Gujrathi drew with Nijat Abasov to be in the fifth spot. PTI

Following the loss, the 17-year-old Gukesh was down to the joint second spot on four points along with Caruana and Praggnanandhaa.

Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi regained his slender half-point lead at the halfway stage following a draw with American Hikaru Nakamura.

After a draw with Nijat Abasov, Vidit Gujrathi took his tally to 3.5 points to share the fifth spot with Nakamura, while Alireza has 2.5 points to take the seventh spot. Abasov, with two points, is still in the last place.

In the women’s section, R Vaishali seemed to have run out of steam as she suffered her third loss in the event. Tingjie Lei of China proved too good for the Indian on a day when the other three games ended in draws.

Zhongyi Tan of China remained half-a-point ahead of the pack after drawing with closest rival Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia.

Russia’s Kateryna Lagno played out a draw with Nurgyul Salimova of Bulgaria and Anna Muzychuk signed peace with India’s Koneru Humpy.

The Indian challenge in the women’s section might already have ended as Zhongyi stood firmly ahead on five points while Goryachkina had 4.5 points in her kitty. Lagno and Lei shared the third spot on four points each and Salimova, on three, was occupying the sole fifth position.

Humpy, Vaishali and Muzychuk need a miracle in the second half of the event to make a comeback as the trio has just 2.5 points each.

Stroke of luck

Alireza was a bit lucky to beat Gukesh out of a London system. It was one of those days for Gukesh when things did not go as planned and even though the Indian enjoyed a good position in the middle game, going for unwarranted complications proved costly.

Gukesh ended up losing a piece but his position would still have been intact despite the material deficit. However, as things unfolded, Alireza won this race with some timely checkmate threats.

Praggnanandhaa employed the French defence and it was already a surprise for Caruana, who went for the advance variation. The 18-year-old Indian did not have much trouble in maintaining the balance in the ensuing middle game as the players reached an equal endgame with no chance of a breakthrough. A draw was agreed to after 41 moves.

#Canada #Chess #Toronto #United States of America USA


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