Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Gukesh regains joint lead

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Toronto, April 14: India’s D Gukesh bounced back with a finely crafted game to outwit compatriot Vidit Gujrathi and regain his joint lead with Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia after the eighth round of the Candidates chess tournament here.
On a day when R Praggnanandhaa played out a draw with Firouza Alireza of France, Hikaru Nakamura sealed his supremacy in the all-American duel against Fabiano Caruana to come back in to reckoning for top honours.
Overnight sole leader Nepomniachtchi faltered in the early stages to allow tail ender Nijat Abasov to get away with an easy draw in the other game of the eight-player double round-robin event.
With six rounds still to come, Gukesh and Nepomniachtchi have 5 points apiece and they are followed by Nakamura and Pragnanandhaa on 4.5 points each.
Caruana is now sole fifth on four points. Gujrathi on 3.5 comes in next ahead of Alireza on three points, while Abasov is still at the rear of the tables on 2.5 points.
In the Women’s section, Koneru Humpy scored a victory over compatriot R Vaishali out of a Queen pawn game to jump to 3.5 points.
The course of the event changed a bit in this section as Tingjie Lei of China accounted for her Chinese team-mate Zhongyi Tan to through the event open. Zhongyi’s domination was halted as Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia and Lei joined her in the lead on five points out of a possible eight.
Russian Kateryna Lagno is within striking distance of the three leaders on 4.5 points with Humpy and Nurgyul Salimova sharing the fifth spot on 3.5 points each.Vaishali is on the last spot remaining on 2.5 points.
The ninth round will see an all important clash from the Indian perspective as Gukesh meets Praggnanandhaa in the men’s section, while Gujrathi has to face the in-form Nakamura. (PTI)

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