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.

Tags: #Chess, #CandidatesTournament, #Praggnanandhaa, #Gukesh, #Nepomniachtchi

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