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Updated January 19th, 2024 at 20:14 IST

Gukesh outwits Ian Nepomniachtchi; Pragnanandhaa holds leader Giri

Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh produced a fine effort to outwit World Championship challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia in the fifth round of the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament here on Friday.

Reported by: Press Trust Of India
D Gukesh
D Gukesh | Image:International Chess Federation
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Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh produced a fine effort to outwit World Championship challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia in the fifth round of the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament here on Friday.

With his second victory in the tournament, Gukesh now has 2.5 points from five rounds after he made an indifferent start to the event, losing two matches in the first four rounds.

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Grandmaster R Pragnanandhaa held tournament leader and defending champion Anish Giri of Holland to a draw on the day.

GM Vidit Gujrathi played out his fifth draw on the trot, signing a peace pact with local hopeful Max Warderman.

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With eight rounds still remaining in one of the strongest traditional events, Giri maintained his sole lead on four points out of a possible five.

Praggnanandhaa, Firouza Alireza of France and Nodirbek Abdusattarov of Uzbekistan share the second spot on four points while Gujrathi and Gukesh are next in standings on 2.5, sharing it with three others.

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In one the biggest upsets of the event so far, Women’s world champion Ju Wnejun of China defeated Alireza in a finely crafted game.

Earlier, Gukesh was a class act in a Queen’s gambit declined with white pieces against Nepomniachtchi. The Indian won a pawn in the ensuing middle game but Nepomniachtchi had his share of counter play till he fell for a tactical shot that cost him another pawn.

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Soon it was a Queen and minor piece endgame on the board and Gukesh wrapped it up quickly.

Praggnanandhaa did not have to exert much against Giri with white pieces.

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Playing a lesser-known opening setup the Indian found Giri adequately prepared and the pieces got traded in a heap in the ensuing middle game.

The players arrived at a Knight and pawns endgame wherein the draw was the only possible result.

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In the challengers’ section being held simultaneously, Grandmaster Leon Luke Mendonca defeated compatriot D Harika with black pieces to jump to three points from his five games.

Divya Deshmukh, the third Indian in the fray, went down to Yilmaz Mustafa of Turkey.

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Erwin L’Ami of Holland leads the table in the section with 4 points, a half point clear of Anton Korobov of Ukraine.

Results Round 5 of Masters (Indians unless mentioned): R Praggnanadhaa (3) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 4); D Gukesh (3) beat Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 2.5); Vidit Gujrathi (2.5) drew with Max Warderman (Ned, 2.5); Ju Wenjun (Chn, 2) beat Firouza Alireza (Fra, 3); Anton Donchenko (Slo, 1.5) drew with Jorden Van Foreest (Ned, 2); Parham Maghsoodloo (Iri, 1) drew with Ding Liren (Chn, 2.5); Nodirbek Abdusattarov (Uzb, 3) drew with Wei Yi (Chn, 3).

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Challengers: Leon Luke Mendonca (3) beat D Harika (1.5) Divya Deshmukh (1.5) lost to Yilmaz Mustafa (Tur, 2.5); Erwin L’Ami (Ned, 4) beat Stefan Beukema (Bel, 2); Eline Roebers (Ned, 1) beat Hand Moke Niemann (Usa, 3); Marc-Andria Maurizzi (Fra, 3) drew with Jaime Santos Latasa (Esp, 2.5); Salem A R Saleh (Uae, 3) beat Liam Vrolijk (Ned, 2); Daniel Dardha (Bel, 2.5) drew with Anton Kkorobov (Ukra, 3.5). 

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Published January 19th, 2024 at 20:14 IST

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