Updated January 26th, 2024 at 15:03 IST

Gukesh to take on Alireza in round 11 of Tata Steel Masters

Leading the fray after the first ten rounds, Grandmaster D Gukesh will take on France's Alireza Firouza in the 11th round of the ongoing Tata Steel Masters chess tournament here.

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Leading the fray after the first ten rounds, Grandmaster D Gukesh will take on France's Alireza Firouza in the 11th round of the ongoing Tata Steel Masters chess tournament here.

While Gukesh has a tough opposition to meet in the last three rounds, his co-leader Abdusattarov Nodirbek has a relatively easier opponent in women's world champion Wenjun Ju of China.

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Post his game with Firouza, Gukesh will meet compatriot Praggnanandhaa in the penultimate round before taking on Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran.

For Abdusattarov, Vidit Gujrathi is likely to be the biggest challenge in the penultimate round and in the last round he has to meet Alexander Donchenko of Germany.

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Praggnanandhaa also has his task cut out. While Gukesh and Abdusattarov have 6.5 points apiece, Praggnanandhaa is trailing closely -- half point behind along with Anish Giri of Holland.

The Indian takes on Donchenko and in the last round and has another tough opposition in Firouza.

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Gujrathi is known for his strong finish towards the business end of the tournaments but has two black games remaining out of the last three.

However, after his brilliant finish in the Grand Swiss that he won and earned the right to play the candidates, he remains a fearful opponent.

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Taking about form, Gukesh has been exemplary and if only he had started off better, the situation could be hugely in his favour. Yet, he has the maximum decisive games with as many as five victories and two losses and it is clear that he will try to continue in the similar fashion.

Praggnandhaa to his credit, has won two games and drawn the remaining eight for his unbeaten status while Gujrathi has also been unbeaten with one victory and nine draws.

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In the challengers section, Leon Luke Mendonca is the only Indian in with a chance for a podium finish.

On second spot with 6.5 points in his bag, Mendonca trails Marc Andria Mariuzzi of France by a full point.

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D Harika and Divya Deshmukh both have an identical four points and will hope for a good finish.

Pairings round 11 Masters (Indians unless stated): D Gukesh (6.5) vs Alireza Firouza (Fra, 5.5); R Praggnandhaa (6) vs Alezander Donchenko (Ger, 3.5); Parham Maghsoodloo (Iri, 4) vs Vidit Gujrathi (5.5); Wei Yi (Chn, 5.5) vs Max Warmerdam (Ned, 4); Ding Liren (Chn, 4) vs Jorrden Van Foreest (Ned, 3.5); Nodirbek Abdusattarov (Uzb, 6.5) vs Ju Wenjun (Chn, 4); Anish Giri (Ned, 6) vs Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 5.5).

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Challengers: Marc Andria Mariuzzi (Fra, 6.5) vs Liam Vroijk (Ned, 5); Daniel Dardha (Bel, 6) vs Eline Roebers (Ned, 2); Erwin L’Ami (Ned, 6) vs Divya Deshmukh (4); D Harika (4) vs A R Saleh Salem (Uae, 5.5); Leon Luke Mendonca (6.5) vs Yilmaz Mustafa (Tur, 4); Stefan Beukema (Ned, 2.5) vs Hans Moke Niemann (Usa, 5.5); Anton Korobov (Ukr, 6) vs Jaime Santos Latasa (Esp, 5.5). 

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Published January 26th, 2024 at 15:03 IST