Candidates Chess Tournament: D Gukesh, R Praggnanandhaa in with a chance as countdown begins : The Tribune India

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Candidates Chess Tournament: D Gukesh, R Praggnanandhaa in with a chance as countdown begins

Candidates Chess Tournament: D Gukesh, R Praggnanandhaa in with a chance as countdown begins

D Gukesh faces top seed Fabiano Caruana in Round 11. FIDE



PTI

Toronto, April 17

Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh will have his task cut out when he takes on top seed Fabiano Caruana in the 11th round, hoping to consolidate his position at the top, as the Candidates chess tournament heads towards its final phase here.

The 17-year-old Gukesh is in joint lead with Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Among the other Indians, 18-year-old R Praggnanandhaa will be up against a resurgent American Hikaru Nakamura after a rest day.

With just four rounds remaining, it is a level-playing field for the two Indian teenagers while Vidit Gujrathi has kept himself in the reckoning and only needs to finish well.

Nepomniachtchi, the only unbeaten player so far, is playing under the FIDE flag and has tough opponents to tackle in the next two rounds.

Gujrathi meets Nepomniachtchi in the next round followed by Praggnanandhaa and these two matches will probably set the tone and might just be pivotal in deciding the next World Championship challenger.

For Gukesh, the clash with Caruana is going to be crucial as the Indian has white pieces. If he is able to press for advantage, the onus will be on Caruana to prove his detractors wrong.

The Italian-turned-American is competing in his sixth Candidates in a row but has only won it once.

Gukesh will probably train his eyes on beating the lowest-placed Abasov in the 12th round, provided he gets past Caruana unscathed. Set to play against the Azerbaijani with black, Gukesh will surely go all-out for a victory even as Abasov has been super solid with his white pieces.

Praggnanandhaa had beaten Nakamura in the last World Cup and will look forward to an encore, especially taking a cue from Gujrathi who has won both his games against the American.

After Nakamura, it will be Nepomniachtchi and if he can withstand the pressure of these two games, one can expect him to be in contention for the winner’s purse of €^48,000.

In the women’s section, the race is between two Chinese players, Zhongyi Tan and Tingjie Lei, who have proved superior to the rest.

In theory, Koneru Humpy might still be in with a chance but practically, the Indian challenge has almost ended in this section.

#Canada #Chess #Toronto


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