Gukesh Regains Joint Lead in Candidates Chess Tournament

Gukesh Regains Joint Lead in Candidates Chess Tournament

In the eighth round of the Candidates chess tournament in Toronto, India's D Gukesh regained his joint lead with Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia after a decisive victory over compatriot Vidit Gujrathi. Gukesh's triumph came on a day when R Praggnanandhaa drew with Firouza Alireza of France, while Hikaru Nakamura defeated Fabiano Caruana in an all-American duel.

Gukesh's victory was a testament to his tactical prowess. He surprised Gujrathi with a rare variation in the opening, forcing his opponent into a long thought process that cost him valuable time. Gukesh seized control of the only open file and used his queen and rook to penetrate Gujrathi's defenses. Despite Gujrathi's resistance, Gukesh's pressure proved too much, and he eventually checkmated his opponent in 38 moves.

Praggnanandhaa, on the other hand, was unable to make significant progress with his white pieces against Alireza. The Indian opted for a variation in the Sicilian Taimanov that Alireza equalized without much difficulty. The players reached an equal endgame after the Queens were traded, and the draw was agreed upon ten moves later.

Nakamura continued his dominance over Caruana, defeating the world number two in just 35 moves. Nakamura took his chances in the closed Ruy Lopez and capitalized on Caruana's unwarranted complications in the middle game. Caruana's time shortage also played a role in his downfall, as he missed a tactic in a difficult position.

In the Women's section, Koneru Humpy scored a crucial victory over compatriot R Vaishali to move up to 3.5 points. Humpy's technical prowess proved superior to Vaishali's in an exchange down endgame, as her pair of rooks eventually outmaneuvered Vaishali's Bishop and Rook.

The ninth round promises an exciting clash between Gukesh and Praggnanandhaa in the men's section, while Gujrathi faces the in-form Nakamura. The tournament remains wide open, with six rounds still to play.

Tags: #Chess, #CandidatesTournament, #DGukesh, #ViditGujrathi, #RPraggnanandhaa

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