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Norway Chess: Praggnanandhaa, Vaishali suffer loses in Rd-6; Carlsen leads in classical games

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Shillong, June 3: Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa suffered a loss at the hands of Alireza Firouzja in the Armageddon tiebreaker in Round six of the Norway Chess at SpareBank 1 SR-Bank.

 

In the battle of the youngsters, Alireza Firouzja and Praggnanandhaa, Firouzja maintained a steady advantage throughout the game, though Firouzja could not convert this advantage into a win and the game ended peacefully.

 

Meanwhile, reigning World Champion Ding Liren continued to struggle in the classical games, as he blundered a mate-in-two tactic against Magnus Carlsen in an equal position. This is Ding’s fourth loss in a row. With this win, Magnus Carlsen has surpassed Hikaru Nakamura in the leaderboard, taking the top spot as the tournament enters its final week.

 

The game between Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura ended in a draw relatively quickly, Caruana had a crucial win in the Armageddon game, a “revenge” for Nakamura’s win in the first Armageddon game in the first half of the tournament. This win will possibly be a massive confidence booster for Caruana after two disappointing rounds.

 

In the women’s category, there have been exciting developments even though all games progressed into the endgame without either side making major mistakes. Especially the game between Ju Wenjun and Vaishali Rameshbabu was highly anticipated as it could affect the leaderboard. While the game was quite balanced until the endgame, Ju Wenjun secured a win against Vaishali when the latter went into time trouble.

 

Another important matchup, between Anna Muzychuk and Lei Tingjie, which could affect the leaderboard, ended in a draw. However, Anna Muzychuk won the Armageddon game and has thus overtaken Vaishali in the leaderboard by half a point. Muzychuk is now leading the tournament for the first time in the event.

 

Koneru Humpy went down in the Armageddon tie-breaker against Pia Cramling in what was a battle of veterans in the Norway Chess women’s tournament. (IANS)

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