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Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh takes sole lead in Candidates Chess Tournament

Indian prodigy D Gukesh's strategic brilliance propels him to the top of the leaderboard in the Candidates Chess tournament.

Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh takes sole lead in Candidates Chess Tournament

Gukesh secured an important win over Nijat Abasov in round 12 of FIDE Candidates 2024. (Image courtesy: FIDE)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 21 April 2024 7:01 AM GMT

Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh surged ahead in the Candidates Chess tournament, securing a crucial victory against Firouzja Alireza of France in the 13th round at the Great Hall in Toronto, on Sunday.

Gukesh's remarkable performance put him on the verge of becoming the youngest contender ever for the world championship title. Seizing the lead with a total of 8.5 points out of a possible 13, the 17-year-old prodigy from Chennai now stands half a point ahead of his closest competitors, including Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi and American Hikaru Nakamura.

If Gukesh maintains his momentum and emerges victorious in the tournament, he will face off against China's Ding Liren for the coveted world champion's crown.

Gukesh's path to victory in the 13th round was paved with precision and determination. Playing the white side of a Berlin defence, he navigated through the game's complexities, ultimately capitalizing on a late blunder by Alireza to secure a decisive win in a challenging endgame.

Meanwhile, in the women's event, Vaishali Rameshbabu continued her impressive streak with a fourth consecutive victory, while Humpy Koneru held her ground with a draw against Anna Muzychuk. Zhongyi Tan maintained her lead in the women's section, further solidifying her position as a formidable contender for the title.

As the tournament heads into its final round, Gukesh remains a strong favourite to clinch the top spot, with pundits speculating that even a draw in his upcoming game could solidify his place as the youngest-ever contender for the world championship match.

In the women's section, the competition remains fierce, with players vying for crucial points in the final round to secure their positions on the leaderboard.

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