Candidates: Gujrathi on the move, stuns Nakamura; Pragg falls to Gukesh : The Tribune India

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Candidates: Gujrathi on the move, stuns Nakamura; Pragg falls to Gukesh

Candidates: Gujrathi on the move, stuns Nakamura; Pragg falls to Gukesh

Vidit Gujrathi ended Hikaru Nakamura’s 47-match unbeaten run. Photo: fide



PTI

Toronto, April 6

Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi dismantled the defence of world No. 3 Hikaru Nakamura of the United States, while R Praggnanandhaa went down to compatriot D Gukesh in the second round of the Candidates chess tournament here.

After four draws in the first round, all the four games in the second round ended decisively today.

Top seed American Fabiano Caruana was impressive in cruising past Nijat Abasov of Azerbaijan and Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi outfoxed Firouzja Alireza of France.

R Praggnanandhaa and D Gukesh in action. Photo: fide

Gujrathi along with Caruana, Nepomniachtchi and Gukesh emerged as the early co-leaders of the event with 1.5 points apiece while Nakamura, Praggnanandhaa, Abasov and Alireza share the fifth spot on half-a-point each.

In the women’s section, R Vaishali went down fighting against Zhongyi Tan of China, while Russian Aleksandra Goryachkina proved superior to Ukrainian Anna Muzychuk. Koneru Humpy played out a draw with Kateryna Lagno of Russia and Nurgyul Salimova signed peace with Tingjie Lei of China.

Tan remained in sole lead with her second victory on the trot and Goryachkina was right behind her just half-a-point adrift. Salimova, Humpy and Lagno share the third spot with one point in their bags and Lei, while Vaishali and Muzychuk share the sixth spot with half-a-point.

A total of 12 rounds still remain in the biggest competition of the year that will decide the challengers for the next World Championship matches.

Gujrathi shines

For the second day running, Gujrathi stole the show. It is clear that the Indian has gotten past his below-par performance in the Prague Masters.

The opening choice was a Berlin by Gujrathi, who played his second black in a row. Nakamura was facing a finely crafted new idea as early as on move eight and the American was on his own. It was just three moves later that Gujrathi stunned his opponent with a bishop sacrifice.

Accepting the sacrifice was the best way but Nakamura declined it and his position worsened slowly but surely. Gujrathi launched a king-side attack soon and wrapped it up in 29 moves for a remarkable triumph.

Gujrathi’s dominance was certified by Nakamura, who was the first to say “good game” to the Indian.

Asked about summing up the game, the Indian said that it was a day when everything worked for him. “Your prep comes in, he makes a mistake and you get a brilliant attack, can’t add much to it,” Gujrathi said.

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


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