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Candidates 2024: Gujrathi defeats Nakamura in 9th round, Gukesh remains joint topper

Vidit Gujrathi is currently joint fourth after the end of the ninth round in the Candidates 2024. Gukesh and Praggnanandhaa played out a draw.

Vidit Gujrathi

FILE PHOTO: Indian chess ace Vidit Gujrathi (Photo credit: FIDE)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 15 April 2024 6:10 AM GMT

Vidit Gujrathi, 29, handed out a crushing defeat to the United States of America's Hikaru Nakamura in the ninth round of the Candidates 2024 at the Great Hall of Toronto on Sunday night.

On the other hand, the all-Indian duel between 17-year-old D Gukesh and 18-year-old R Praggnanandhaa ended in a draw. Following this draw, Gukesh remained on top of the standings alongside Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia, who was forced to play out a draw against France's Firouza Alireza, with 5.5 points out of possible nine.

Azerbaijan's Nijat Abasov held his forte against American Fabiano Caruana and pulled off a draw.

Even though he lost to compatriot Gukesh, Gujrathi remained firm and decided to continue with the Italian opening and got rewarded as Nakamura went for a side variation by pushing his kingside pawns too early.

Gujrathi was quick to spot a tactical mistake by Nakamura, who eventually gave up when checkmate became inevitable.

Gujrathi is currently placed in the fourth spot alongside Caruana and Nakamura with 4.5 points.

In the women's Candidates, R Vaishali suffered yet another defeat as she lost to Zhongyi Tan of China.

However, Koneru Humpy played out a draw against Kateryna Lagno of Russia while overnight joint leader Tingjie Lei was held to a draw by Nurgyul Salimova of Bulgaria.

Humpy and Salimova are currently placed in the fifth spot jointly. With just 2.5 points to her credit, Vaishali, placed at the seventh spot, will look to end her fourth-match losing streak in the next round.

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