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Grand Chess Tour 2024: Gukesh tastes defeat after Candidates-triumph

The Candidates 2024 winner collects just one out of the possible six-points after the opening day.

Grand Chess Tour 2024: Gukesh tastes defeat after Candidates-triumph

Gukesh D got off to a shaky start at the Grand Chess Tour 2024. (Photo Credit: ChessBase India)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 9 May 2024 12:19 PM GMT

When Gukesh D walked into the Grand Chess Tour Superbet Rapid and Blitz 2024 in Warsaw, Poland, the spotlights were well and truly on him.

With the top players of the world going head-to-head to garner points and pocket cash prizes, all eyes were on the phenom from Chennai.

But the Candidates 2024 winner got off to a rocky start, losing his first two matches against Shevchenko and Abdusattorov.

Gukesh, however, got himself on the board after a draw in round 3 against Anish Giri.

Gukesh, the architect of his defeat

Against Shevchenko and Abdusattorov, it was less about the opponents being better and more about Gukesh's blunders on the chessboard.

Against the former, a grave mistake with his queen contributed to his downfall.

Similarly, against Abdusattorov, he was in a good position but he once again fumbled his rook and lost. Against Anish however, he managed to keep a steady head and got himself a draw.

Standings at the end of Day-1 of the Superbet Grand Chess Tour 2024.

(Photo Credit: Grandchesstour)

It is possible that the Rapid and Blitz format of the Grand Chess Tour could have put Gukesh under timebound pressure. Unlike the classical format and true to the name of the format, the game moves at a faster pace.

From the looks of it, Gukesh seems to have had trouble managing the clock. That said, and in keeping with his ability to stage comebacks, an improved performance will be expected from him in subsequent rounds.

He still has to play against the likes of Praggnanandhaa, rising Indian sensation Arjun Erigaisi and of course, the man himself, the current title holder and world no.1 Magnus Carlsen.

Having collected just one point from a possible six, Gukesh would have to be at his very best if he is to get past his upcoming opponents.

Meanwhile, Arjun Erigaisi had the best day for India on day-1 as he managed to get draws in all three of his matches which included a big draw against world no.1, Magnus Carlsen of Norway that too with the black pieces in the first round.

Praggnanandhaa also ended his day on a high note with a massive win over one of the leaders, Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan in round-3. Both Arjun and Pragg ended the day with three points and will try to take this forward on the second day.

Grand Chess Tour Format

The Superbet Grand Chess Tour 2024 is a multi-format five-legged tour that spans several cities and will be played in different formats.

The first leg is currently underway at Warsaw and is held in Rapid and Blitz format.

A total of nine elite chess players received invitations for the entire tour, Praggnanandhaa, and Gukesh D being the two Indians in that coveted list. They will play both the classical tournaments and two of the three rapid and blitz tournaments.

In addition to this, nine more players are to be offered wild card entries, through which Arjun Erigaisi and Vidit Gujrathi will feature in the Warsaw and Croatia legs respectively.

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