Gukesh Retakes Lead in Candidates, Nakamura Stuns Caruana

Gukesh Retakes Lead in Candidates, Nakamura Stuns Caruana

In the ongoing Candidates Tournament, D Gukesh has regained a share of the lead after a comfortable victory over fellow Indian Vidit Gujrathi in Round 8. The second half of the double round-robin tournament commenced with reversed colors, and Gukesh capitalized on Vidit's time management struggles.

Vidit's early time pressure, coupled with Gukesh's strategic pawn moves, led to a gradual loss of control over the a-file. Vidit's unnecessary pawn push on b5 and subsequent d4 advance proved detrimental, allowing Gukesh to dominate the open file with his rook and queen. Gukesh's precise play left Vidit with no counterplay, forcing him to resign.

With this win, Gukesh joins Ian Nepomniachtchi at the top of the standings with five points. Despite the pressure, Gukesh remains composed, stating, "I've learnt to handle it. So far, I've handled it well."

Hikaru Nakamura also made a significant move in the standings, defeating Fabiano Caruana to leapfrog ahead of his compatriot. Caruana, who entered the tournament as a favorite, has shown signs of vulnerability, and his blunder against Nakamura proved costly.

Nakamura, who has now won four consecutive classical games against Caruana, attributes his success to his lack of pressure. "I feel no pressure in the Candidates. I'm playing for fun," he said. "I'm not saying I wouldn't be happy if I won. I'm just trying to play good chess and not make a fool of myself."

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

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