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Tata Steel Chess Masters: Indian GM Vidit Gujrathi shoots into lead

Indian GM Vidit Santhosh Gujrathi prevailed over Russia's Daniil Dubov in the third round to become the sole leader with 2.5 points

Vidit Gujrathi Chess

Vidit Gujrathi (Source: Tata Steel Chess/Twitter)



Updated: 18 Jan 2022 8:57 AM GMT

Indian Grandmaster Vidit Santhosh Gujrathi prevailed over Russia's Daniil Dubov in the third round to become the sole leader with 2.5 points in the prestigious Tata Steel Masters chess tournament. Gujrathi's compatriot, 16-year old Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, however, suffered a defeat at the hands of Dutchman Jorden Van Foreest late on Monday night. Apart from Van Foreest, Andrey Esipenko and Richard Rapport also scored victories and now sit on two points together with world No.1 Magnus Carlsen and Jan-Krzysztof Duda, who drew their games.

In the Gujrathi-Dubov match, the Russian, true to his creative style, introduced a novelty in the Italian Opening as early as on move 8. The Indian GM took the seemingly risky approach, first trading his dark-squared bishop and then accepting a central pawn sacrifice. As a result, he fell behind in development, whereas Black's king got stuck in the centre. Gujrathi capitalised on an error on move 32 by Dubov and secured a point.

Van Foreest surprised Praggnanandhaa with a rare line and put serious pressure on the black side. Praggnanandhaa held his own up to a point before the Dutchman gained the upper-hand to score a win. Carlsen showed resilience to share the point with Poland's Jan-Krzysztof Duda while Dutch star Anish Giri drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. In the fourth round to be played later on Tuesday night, Gujrathi faces Espinenko and Praggnanandhaa tackles Sweden's Nils Grandelius in the 13-round championship.

Meanwhile, in the Challenger event being held simultaneously, Indian GM Arjun Erigaisi defeated Belgium's Daniel Dardha in the third round to share the joint top spot with two others -- Thai Dai Van Nguyen (Czech Republic) and Volodar Murzin (Russia) -- having scored 2.5 points. Another Indian GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly was held to a draw by Max Warmerdam of the Netherlands and has two points from three rounds.

Standings after Round 3:

Masters: 1. Vidit Gujrathi – 2.5 points;

2-6. Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Magnus Calsen, Richard Rapport, Andrey Esipenko and Jorden Van Foreest – 2;

7-8. Fabiano Caruana, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – 1.5;

9-13. Sam Shankland, Sergey Karjakin, Daniil Dubov, Anish Giri, Praggnanandhaa – 1;

14. Nils Grandelius – 0.5.

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