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Gukesh won’t challenge Liren on home turf

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Singapore beats India to bag hosting rights of World Chess Championship Final Match

NEW DELHI, July 1: India’s efforts to secure a home World Championships match for D Gukesh came to nought with Singapore pipping Delhi and Chennai to claim hosting rights for the premier chess contest which will pit the youngest Challenger in the history against defending champion Ding Liren from China.
The Tamil Nadu government and All India Chess Federation (AICF) had submitted separate bids to FIDE, the world chess body.
The match, which will offer a prize money of USD 2.5 million, will be held between November 20 and December 15 this year.
“After reviewing the bids and inspecting all potential host cities for their venues, amenities, event programs, and opportunities, the International Chess Federation has selected Singapore as the host of the World Championship Match,” FIDE said in a release.
The 17-year-old Gukesh had scripted history by winning the Candidates Chess Tournament in April to become the youngest ever Challenger to the world title, bettering legendary Garry Kasparov’s 40-year-old record.
“We are delighted that for the first time in the history of FIDE, a match for the World Championship will take place in Singapore. Not only is Singapore one of the most iconic global tourist and business hubs, but it is also a thriving chess center with great ambitions and talent,” FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich said.
“I would also like to thank the other bidders – New Delhi and Chennai. Both cities are renowned chess hubs with a rich history of hosting chess events, and we are confident we will see major chess events there in the future,” Dvorkovich continued.
FIDE CEO Emil Sutovsky said,” Chess is not just a popular game and sport; it is often seen as the epitome of the human mind’s ability to think strategically, to plan, and to foresee. Singapore embodies these same qualities. It’s a great match for the great Match!” “We also expect multinational companies to seize an opportunity and join forces with FIDE and Singapore to make this event truly exceptional,” Sutovsky added.
PRAGG DRAWS WITH WESLEY
Grandmaster R Praggnandhaa yet again squandered promising position to settle for a draw against American Wesley in the fifth round of Superbet Classic tournament as none of the five boards produced any decisive result, here.
The lead positions remained unchanged with Fabiano Caruana of United States still ahead on 3.5 points, enjoying a half point lead over world championship challenger D Gukesh and Praggnanandhaa.
Praggnanandhaa is usually spot-on when it comes to accurate calculation or tactics but somehow here he has been missing on advantageous positions and also some winning moves.
Having missed out on a technically winning endgame against Gukesh, Wesley So found himself lucky as the Indian missed a not-so-difficult manoeuvre that he would find in seconds on another day.
Inspired by the presence of Garry Kasparov in the playing hall, Praggnanandhaa chose the King’s Indian defense as black, faced the Fianchetto variation and did not have many troubles in maintaining the balance.
Wesley became a little ambitious towards the final stages of the middle game and this is where Praggnanandhaa could have penetrated his king side decisively. Wesley survived with the skin of his teeth.
Gukesh also had a chance against Nodirbek through a tactical stroke that would have ensured consistent pressure and a long-term advantage. The game was drawn without much ado once Gukesh missed out on the opportunity.
Caruana showed his opening expertise to hold Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in a Ruy Lopez open. The American went for a little known variation as black and it was clear that his home-work ran deep. Vachier-Lagrave decided not to take his chances for too long and drew vide repetition in just 28 moves.
Monday is the only rest day in the tournament and the sixth round will be played on Tuesday.
Results round 3:
D Gukesh (Ind, 3) drew with Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzb, 2.5); Wesley So (Usa, 2.5) drew with R Praggnanandhaa (Ind, 3); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 2.5) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 3.5); Anish Giri (Ned, 2) drew with Firouza Alireza (Fra, 2.5); Deac Bogdan-Daniel (Rou, 1.5) drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi (FID, 2.5). (PTI)

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