Candidates: Pragg breaks Gujrathi’s resolve, sister Vaishali too gets first win : The Tribune India

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Candidates: Pragg breaks Gujrathi’s resolve, sister Vaishali too gets first win

Candidates: Pragg breaks Gujrathi’s resolve, sister Vaishali too gets first win

D Gukesh played out a draw with Ian Nepomniachtchi. Fide



PTI

Toronto, April 7

Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa came up with a spectacular game to down compatriot Vidit Gujrathi in the third round of the Candidates Chess tournament here. It turned out to be a satisfying day for the only sibling duo to make it to the Candidates ever as R Vaishali also scored her first victory in the event at the expense of Nurgyul Salimova of Bulgaria in what was also the lone decisive game in the women’s section.

R Praggnanandhaa and R Vaishali earned spectacular wins. FIde

In the men’s section, D Gukesh tried to make some headway but could not really dent the solid defences of Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia, while Frenchman Firouza Alireza’s extra pawn came to a naught against top seed Fabiano Caruana of the United States. USA’s Hikaru Nakamura had no difficulty in getting an easy draw as black against Nijat Abasov of Azerbaijan.

In the women’s section, Koneru Humpy played out an easy draw with white against Zhongyi Tan. Tinjie Lei of China signed peace with Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia, while Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine split the point with Russia’s Kateryna Lagno.

With 11 rounds still to come, Caruana, Gukesh and Nepomniachtchi share the lead on two points apiece in the men’s section. They are followed by Gujrathi and Praggnanandhaa on 1.5 points each. Nakamura, Alireza and Abasov complete the line-up another half-point behind.

In the women’s event, Zhongyi Tan (2.5 points) remained a half-point clear of nearest rival Goryachkina, with Humpy, Vaishali and Lagno on their toes with 1.5 points each. Lei, Muzychuk and Salimova share the sixth spot with one point each in their kitty.

Another surprise

Praggnanandhaa chose an accelerated Schielmann defence out of a Ruy Lopez that is seldom seen in top GM games. Praggnanandhaa is known to spring surprises and Gujrathi realised this very early in the opening. “I was not too sure in the opening as I could not remember the preparation, but I think black was fine,” Praggnanandhaa said.

After a brilliant start to the tournament, Gujrathi very early figured out he was in for a grinding contest in his first game as white as he spent a lot of time in the opening. The game fluctuated in the early middle game between an equal position and sometimes favouring Gujrathi but it was not easy to find all the best moves every time he was posed a question.

In the end, Gujrathi was left to play 11 moves in about five minutes with the position not favouring him and as is often the case the clock took its toll on the Indian.

Praggnanandhaa quickly landed himself with a winning rook and pawns endgame and there was no hope left soon for Gujrathi. The game lasted 45 moves.

“I saw that I could make a draw through perpetual checks on move 11 but believed my position to be better,” Gujrathi said.

Gukesh was caught a bit-off-guard in a queen pawn game playing white. It was a symmetrical structure in the ensuing middle game after the queens got traded early and Nepomniachtchi kept the balance despite being on the defensive. In the end, Gukesh had two bishops but black was simply too solid to make a decisive headway.

#Canada #Chess #Toronto


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