Candidates: Vidit Gujrathi does a double over Nakamura, Pragg & Gukesh share spoils : The Tribune India

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Candidates: Vidit Gujrathi does a double over Nakamura, Pragg & Gukesh share spoils

Candidates: Vidit Gujrathi does a double over Nakamura, Pragg & Gukesh share spoils

D Gukesh and R Praggnanandhaa played out a draw in 41 moves. PTI



PTI

Toronto, April 15

Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi came back firing on all cylinders after the previous match defeat and crashed through the defences of second seed Hikaru Nakamura of the United States in the ninth round of the Candidates chess tournament here.

Koneru Humpy improved her postion a bit with a draw against Kateryna Lagno.PTI

The all-Indian duel between D Gukesh and R Praggnanandhaa ended in a draw without much ado as the day saw no other decisive games.

Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia lived by the sword against Frenchman Firouzja Alireza before signing peace, while Nijat Abasov of Azerbaijan showed that he was almost impregnable as white and held his own against American Fabiano Caruana.

With five rounds and two rest days still to come, Nepomniachtchi and Gukesh continued to be joint leaders on 5.5 points out of a possible nine while Praggnanandhaa is the sole third half-a-point behind.

Vidit Gujrathi bounced back to defeat Hikaru Nakamura. PTI

Nakamura, Gujrathi and Caruana share the fourth spot on 4.5 points and are all within a chance to win with Alireza on 3.5 and Abasov on three points.

The Candidates had begun with four draws on the opening day and served a brilliant victory by Gujrathi over Nakamura. The second half was just a déjà vu as Gujrathi was in his element yet again to score a win over the American again.

Back in hunt

The Indian might have been predictable as far as the openings are concerned with either colour but clearly, he knows his stuff.

Despite losing to Gukesh in the previous round, Gujrathi decided to continue with the Italian opening and got rewarded as Nakamura went for a side variation by pushing his king side pawns too early.

With a timely breakthrough in the centre, the dynamics in the position remained but Gujrathi was quick to spot a trick missed by Nakamura. What followed was mayhem for black on the board, and Nakamura called it a day when checkmate became inevitable.

Gukesh tried his hands at the Ruy Lopez as white but did not get much against Praggnanandhaa. Both the teenagers have been showing great skills here against the world’s best and there was nothing to choose between them when pieces flew off the board in tandem. The game was drawn in 41 moves.

In the women’s section, R Vaishali’s hope for a turnaround ended with another loss coming at the hands of Zhongyi Tan of China. The Chinese shot back into sole lead on six points in nine games. Tan-Vaishali contest was the lone decisive game of the day.

India’s Koneru Humpy improved her position a bit after drawing with Kateryna Lagno of Russia, while overnight joint leader Tingjie Lei was held to a draw by Nurgyul Salimova of Bulgaria.

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


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