Gukesh, Nepomniachtchi, Nakamura Lead Candidates Tournament After Round 12

Gukesh, Nepomniachtchi, Nakamura Lead Candidates Tournament After Round 12

India’s D Gukesh remains in contention for the World Championship challenger spot after Round 12 of the Candidates tournament, sharing the lead with Ian Nepomniachtchi and Hikaru Nakamura. With just two rounds remaining, the race for the coveted title is heating up.

Gukesh, known for his aggressive style, employed a rare opening idea in the Nimzo-Indian against Nijat Abasov. The Azerbaijani was caught off guard and struggled to find logical moves. Gukesh’s plan to unsettle his opponent and play for a win proved successful, as Abasov missed drawing chances in the endgame.

Fabiano Caruana, who had a slow start to the tournament, has surged back into contention with a win over India’s Vidit Gujrathi. Caruana’s victory keeps him half a point behind the leaders.

Nakamura, the American grandmaster, has also joined the leading trio after defeating Alireza Firouzja. Nakamura has won three consecutive games, putting him in a strong position to challenge for the World Championship.

The only draw in the Open section came between Praggnanandhaa and Nepomniachtchi.

In the Women’s section, Kateryna Lagno and Lei Tingjie drew their match, while Vaishali Rameshbabu defeated Anna Muzychuk. Aleksandra Goryachkina and Koneru Humpy also played out a draw, while Nurgyul Salimova and Tan Zhongyi shared the point.

With two rounds remaining, the tension is palpable as the players vie for the chance to challenge the reigning World Champion, Magnus Carlsen. Gukesh, Nepomniachtchi, and Nakamura are the frontrunners, but Caruana and Praggnanandhaa are still in the hunt.

Candidates Tournament: Nepomniachtchi Takes Sole Lead as Indians Slip

Candidates Tournament: Nepomniachtchi Takes Sole Lead as Indians Slip

The Candidates Tournament, a prestigious event that determines the challenger for the World Chess Championship, has reached its penultimate stage with the standings in constant flux.

In Round 11, Indian prodigy D Gukesh faced a time crunch against Fabiano Caruana and had to settle for a draw. Fellow Indians R Praggnanandhaa and Vidit Gujrathi suffered losses, further complicating the race for the title.

Ian Nepomniachtchi, a two-time Candidates winner, showcased his resilience by securing a victory with Black against Vidit Gujrathi. Despite facing two lost positions in a marathon game, Nepomniachtchi managed to turn the tables and move into sole lead. Vidit’s decision to push for a win in a seemingly equal position proved costly, as he missed multiple winning chances and ultimately handed Nepomniachtchi a crucial victory.

Hikaru Nakamura joined Gukesh in second place with 6.5/11 after defeating Praggnanandhaa with Black. Praggnanandhaa’s time constraints allowed Nakamura to maintain pressure and convert an edge into a vital win.

Caruana expressed relief with his draw against Gukesh, acknowledging that his opponent had created a slight advantage. “The main thing was not to lose,” Caruana said.

In the women’s section, Tan Zhongyi extended her lead to 7.5/11 with a victory over Kateryna Lagno. Humpy Koneru and Vaishali Rameshbabu also secured wins, while Lei Tingjie and Anna Muzychuk drew.

Round 13 pairings will see Nakamura face Alireza Firouzja, Gukesh take on Nijat Abasov, Caruana play Vidit Gujrathi, and Nepomniachtchi face Praggnanandhaa.

In the women’s tournament, Lagno will face Lei Tingjie, Muzychuk will play Vaishali Rameshbabu, Aleksandra Goryachkina will meet Humpy Koneru, and Nurgyul Salimova will challenge Tan Zhongyi.

Candidates Tournament: Gukesh Draws Nepomniachtchi, Caruana and Nakamura Win

Candidates Tournament: Gukesh Draws Nepomniachtchi, Caruana and Nakamura Win

The Candidates Tournament, a prestigious event that determines the challenger for the World Chess Championship, witnessed a crucial Round 10 battle between co-leaders Ian Nepomniachtchi and D Gukesh. The highly anticipated clash ended in a draw, leaving the tournament standings unchanged.

Gukesh, playing with the Black pieces, surprised Nepomniachtchi by deviating from the Berlin Defense to the Cozio Defense. The Indian prodigy equalized quickly out of the opening, and after the minor pieces were exchanged, the players agreed to a draw on Move 40. Gukesh expressed satisfaction with the result, acknowledging Nepomniachtchi’s dangerous nature with White.

Meanwhile, Americans Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura emerged victorious in the only two decisive games of the open section. Caruana, ranked second in the world, defeated Alireza Firouzja, who has seemingly fallen out of contention. Caruana played the risky 6.Rg1?! and introduced a novelty with Bc4 on the seventh move. Firouzja made several errors, including 30…h4 and 32…Rh5, before both players entered a time scramble. Caruana’s superior endgame skills proved decisive.

Nakamura, recovering from a loss in the previous round, defeated the lowest-rated player, Nijat Abasov. Despite time troubles, Nakamura managed to secure the win.

In the women’s section, Lei Tingjie continued her impressive run by defeating Aleksandra Goryachkina. Tan Zhongyi and Kateryna Lagno drew their game, while Vaishali R upset Nurgyul Salimova.

Indian Chess Prodigies Aim to Bridge Gap in Candidates Tournament

Indian Chess Prodigies Aim to Bridge Gap in Candidates Tournament

Indian chess prodigies R Praggnanandhaa and D Gukesh aim to close the gap on tournament leader Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia as the Candidates chess tournament resumes in Toronto for its eighth round.

Praggnanandhaa, known for his aggressive style, will face Frenchman Firouza Alireza, while Gukesh will take on compatriot Vidit Gujarathi. Nepomniachtchi, the defending champion, holds a comfortable lead with 4.5 points, half a point ahead of Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh, and Fabiano Caruana of the United States.

Gujarathi, with 3.5 points, is known for his late-tournament surges, while Hikaru Nakamura shares fifth place with him. Alireza sits in seventh place with 2.5 points, followed by Nijat Abasov of Azerbaijan.

The Indian trio has shown flashes of brilliance but has also faced setbacks. Gujrathi outplayed Caruana but settled for draws in promising positions. Gukesh had a strong position against Alireza but made costly mistakes. Praggnanandhaa has been solid, notably drawing with Caruana in a French defense and defeating Gujrathi.

Against Alireza, Praggnanandhaa will seek to capitalize on his white pieces. “I have been playing quite well and am happy with the quality,” he said. Gukesh, with black pieces against Gujrathi, will aim to make a statement.

Nepomniachtchi and Caruana remain the only unbeaten players at the halfway stage. Nepomniachtchi has led the tournament after 50% of games in his previous two victories. Caruana, known for his explosive play, is a potential threat.

In the women’s section, Indian hopes have not materialized. Konery Humpy and R Vaishali are at the bottom of the standings with 2.5 points each, while Zhongyi Tan leads with five points. Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia is Tan’s closest challenger.

Candidates Tournament: Surprises and Disappointments at the Halfway Mark

Candidates Tournament: Surprises and Disappointments at the Halfway Mark

The Candidates tournament, a grueling chess competition where only the winner qualifies for a shot at the World Championship, has reached its halfway point. With seven rounds played and seven more to go, the tournament has witnessed a mix of surprises, disappointments, and memorable moments.


Two Indian teenagers, Gukesh D and Praggnanandhaa R, have defied expectations with their impressive performances. Gukesh remained undefeated until Round 7, while Praggnanandhaa has showcased his exceptional opening preparation and aggressive play. Both are now in joint second place, just half a point behind leader Ian Nepomniachtchi.


Hikaru Nakamura, the world No. 3, and Alireza Firouzja, the crown prince-in-waiting, have struggled to live up to their billing. Nakamura has managed only one win in seven rounds, while Firouzja has suffered three losses. Firouzja’s dismal performance has been attributed to his poor time management and a series of online blitz games he played before his Round 7 match.

Move that Shook:

Praggnanandhaa’s 4…f5 against Vidit Gujrathi in Round 3 was a bold and unexpected move that caught the chess world by surprise. The Delayed Shliemann in the Ruy Lopez is a hyper-aggressive line with a somewhat dubious reputation, but Praggnanandhaa played it with confidence and precision.

Time Trouble:

The time control at the Candidates has been a source of controversy. With 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, players have often found themselves in time trouble, leading to rushed decisions and costly mistakes. Gukesh, in particular, has suffered from this time pressure, losing a game to Firouzja in a mad time scramble.

Post-Game Press Conferences:

Post-game press conferences have provided moments of levity and intrigue. Nepomniachtchi was asked about the contents of his thermos, revealing that it contained tea purchased from a gift shop in Canada. Firouzja, after his first win, admitted that he needed to play risky chess and win all his remaining games to have a chance of qualifying.

Round 7 Results:

* Open: Nakamura drew with Nepomniachtchi, Caruana drew with Praggnanandhaa, Abasov drew with Gujrathi, Firouzja defeated Gukesh
* Women: Lagno drew with Salimova, Goryachkina drew with Tan, Muzychuk drew with Humpy, Lei defeated Vaishali

Round 8 Pairings:

* Open: Nakamura vs. Caruana, Nepomniachtchi vs. Abasov, Praggnanandhaa vs. Firouzja, Gujrathi vs. Gukesh
* Women: Lagno vs. Goryachkina, Salimova vs. Muzychuk, Tan vs. Lei, Humpy vs. Vaishali

Gukesh Stumbles, Nepomniachtchi Regains Lead in Candidates Tournament

Gukesh Stumbles, Nepomniachtchi Regains Lead in Candidates Tournament

In the intense battle for the Candidates Tournament, India’s D Gukesh suffered a heartbreaking loss to Alireza Firouzja in Round 7, knocking him out of the shared lead. The result propelled Ian Nepomniachtchi, who drew his game with Hikaru Nakamura, back into sole possession of first place.

Gukesh, playing with White, faced an unbalanced position created by Firouzja’s London System. Despite Firouzja’s struggles in the tournament, he found inspiration in an online blitz session on the morning of the game. With time running out, Firouzja executed a brilliant Nd7! move, forcing Gukesh into a time scramble.

Under immense pressure, Gukesh made a crucial mistake with Kh7, allowing Firouzja to deliver checkmate with 37…Rf3. The blitz session may have provided Firouzja with the spark he needed to pursue a mating attack, while Gukesh’s first defeat in seven rounds dealt a significant blow to his title hopes.

Meanwhile, R Praggnanandhaa continued his impressive run with an ambitious French Defense against world No. 2 Fabiano Caruana. Despite Caruana’s previous successes against the French Defense, Praggnanandhaa’s deep knowledge of the line forced a draw in 41 moves.

Praggnanandhaa expressed satisfaction with his tournament performance, highlighting the quality of his games and his ability to recall lines at the board. He credited his support system for helping him overcome tough moments.

As the players enter a rest day before the final seven rounds, the standings remain tight. Nepomniachtchi leads with 4.5 points, followed by Caruana and Praggnanandhaa with 4 points each. Gukesh is tied with Nakamura and Abasov at 3.5 points.

Praggnanandhaa Draws in Prague Masters, Prepares for Candidates Tournament

Praggnanandhaa Draws in Prague Masters, Prepares for Candidates Tournament

R Praggnanandhaa, India’s rising chess star, concluded the Prague Masters chess tournament with a draw against David Navara of the Czech Republic. Despite his valiant effort, Praggnanandhaa settled for a draw in the final round, but he can take solace in his strong performance, which has positioned him as the top-rated Indian heading into the upcoming Candidates Tournament in Toronto.

The Candidates Tournament, a prestigious event that determines the challenger for the World Championship match, was initially met with visa issues for some participants. However, thanks to the tireless efforts of FIDE and various channels, the tournament is now set to proceed as planned.

In the final round of the Prague Masters, five draws occurred among the top 10 players, leaving the standings largely unchanged. Nodirbek Abdusattarov of Uzbekistan emerged victorious, having secured 6/8 points in the previous rounds and adding another half-point in the final round.

Praggnanandhaa finished the tournament with a respectable score of five points, alongside Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran and Ngyen Thai Dai Van of the Czech Republic. Gukesh, Richard Rapport of Romania, and David Navara shared fifth place with 4.5 points each, while Mateusz Bartel and Vincent Keymer finished with 3.5 points. Vidit Gujrathi placed last with three points.

Among the three Indian participants in the Candidates Tournament, Praggnanandhaa has shown the most impressive form. However, with the dates for the World Championship challenger match now set, it remains to be seen who will emerge victorious under the pressure of the high-stakes event.

Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh Face Crucial Matches in Prague Masters

Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh Face Crucial Matches in Prague Masters

The Prague Masters Chess tournament in Prague has reached its halfway point, with four rounds remaining. Grandmasters R Praggnanandhaa and D Gukesh, currently tied for fourth place, face crucial matches in the upcoming round.

Praggnanandhaa, known as “Pragg,” will face tournament leader Nodirbek Abdusattarov, while Gukesh will play against Mateuesz Bartel of Poland, who is currently in last place. A win for both Indians would significantly boost their chances of finishing on the podium.

Abdusattarov, the world number five, has maintained his lead with four points out of a possible five. However, it remains to be seen if he can sustain his momentum in the remaining rounds.

Parham Maghsoodloo, who entered the tournament with impressive results, has been playing cautiously since winning the first two rounds. He needs to improve his performance to remain in contention for the top prize.

Richard Rapport, known for his unconventional style, stands third with three points. The Hungarian-turned-Romanian will be looking for opportunities to capitalize on his strengths.

Vidit Gujrathi, the other Indian in the tournament, has had a mixed start. After four consecutive draws, he lost to Praggnanandhaa, costing him valuable points. However, Gujrathi is known for his ability to perform well in the latter stages of tournaments.

Meanwhile, Arjun Erigaisi has surpassed Viswanathan Anand to become the top-ranked Indian player for the second time in three days. Erigaisi is leading the Shenzen Masters in China and has also entered the top ten in the world live rankings for the first time.

Praggnanandhaa Triumphs, Gukesh Stumbles in Prague Masters

Praggnanandhaa Triumphs, Gukesh Stumbles in Prague Masters

Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa emerged victorious in the fifth round of the Prague Masters, defeating compatriot Vidit Gujrathi in a thrilling encounter. However, D Gukesh suffered a disappointing loss to Czech Republic’s David Navara, despite holding a strong position.

Uzbekistan’s Nodirbek Abdusattarov continued his impressive run, crushing Mateusz Bartel of Poland to become the sole leader with four points. Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran trails closely with 3.5 points, while Richard Rapport of Romania sits in third with three points.

Praggnanandhaa, known for his aggressive style, kept pushing for an advantage against Gujrathi, who initially held his own. However, Gujrathi’s misstep allowed Praggnanandhaa to launch a devastating attack, securing the win in 52 moves.

Gukesh, on the other hand, had a comfortable position with an extra pawn in the endgame. However, Navara managed to turn the tables, exploiting Gukesh’s errors and converting his advantage into a victory.

Abdusattarov displayed his dominance against Bartel, opting for the Sicilian Dragon opening and quickly gaining the upper hand. The Polish Grandmaster struggled to find a response, and Abdusattarov sealed the win in just 28 moves.

In the Challengers section, Grandmaster R Vaishali suffered a setback against Erwin L’Ami of Holland, while Arjun Erigaisi impressed in the Shenzen Masters by defeating Anish Giri of Holland.

With four rounds remaining in the Prague Masters, Abdusattarov holds a commanding lead. Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh, and Navara share fourth place with 2.5 points each, while Gujrathi and Keymer trail with two points.

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