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Candidates 2024: Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh, Vaishali play out draws; Humpy, Vidit lose

As the players head into the first rest day of Candidates 2024, it gave Indian GMs a much-needed breather to recuperate and recalibrate their approach.

Candidates 2024: Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh, Vaishali play out draws; Humpy, Vidit lose

R Praggnanandhaa (right) and Hikaru Nakamura (left) played out a draw in the fourth round of Candidates 2024 in Toronto on April 7, 2024. 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 8 April 2024 8:16 AM GMT

It was a dull day at the office for the Indian contingent in the fourth round of Candidates 2024 as none of the five players managed to register wins on Sunday.

While R Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh and R Vaishali drew their respective matches, Vidit Gujrathi and Koneru Humpy suffered defeats.

Nepomniachtchi sole winner in Open category

Two-time world champion challenger and defending champion Ian Nepomniachtchi registered a win over Indian Vidit Gujrathi and pulled clear in the Candidates Open category standings. He was too good to deal with for 29-year-old Vidit who failed to surmount a proper defensive shape and made mistakes that Nepomniachtchi took advantage of. He has two wins and two draws in the opening four matches and has looked comfortable so far.

Praggnanandhaa, the dark horse of the tournament, was up against Hikaru Nakamura and they played out an engaging draw. Pragganandhaa sits fourth in the table with 2 points, one point below leader Nepomniachtchi and 0.5 points below Fabio Caruana, and Gukesh and Vidit have taken the last two places with 1.5 points.

Speaking of the two, Caruana and Gukesh's game ended in a stalemate as well. The game saw Gukesh at his creative best with shrewd moves to counter Caruana's offence. The duo decided to call it a day after 72 moves thus ending the game in a draw.

Open Candidates standings after round 4.

Image courtesy: FIDE

Koneru Humpy suffers defeat to youngster Salimova

In the Women's Candidates tournament, the matchups were far more even and were highly anticipated but apart from one match, round 4 was rather anti-climatic with draws all around.

The match that lived up to its build-up was that of Humpy and Nurgyul Salimova of Bulgaria. Humpy, world no.5 and India's best hope of triumph in this year's Candidates met Salimova for the first time today.

Although Humpy showed great courage and fought hard, Salimova was a touch better and ended up victorious, a very important victory for the Bulgarian following her defeat in round three.

Vaishali went up against Aleksandra Goryachkina and the duo played out a very calm draw. Unlike the game between Humpy and Salimova, this one did not have any surprises or out-of-the-box moves. It was a very calm match that gradually ended in a draw.

Zhongyi Tan leads the standings with 3 points while Vaishali, with 2 points sits in fourth and Humpy, disappointingly, sits in last with 1.5 points.

Women's Candidates table after round 4

Image courtesy: FIDE

The players will rest on Monday, giving a good chance for the Indian grandmasters to recalibrate their game, relax their minds and come back fresher and stronger.

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