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Updated January 28th, 2024 at 20:30 IST

Tata Steel Chess: Vidit Gujrathi dumps Abdusattarov to jump into joint lead

Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi yet again defied the odds to take sole lead defeating overnight leader Nodirbek Abdusattarov of Uzbekistan in the 12th and penultimate round of Tata Steel Masters here.

Vidit Gujrathi
Vidit Gujrathi | Image:chess.com
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Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi yet again defied the odds to take sole lead defeating overnight leader Nodirbek Abdusattarov of Uzbekistan in the 12th and penultimate round of Tata Steel Masters here.

The first super tournament of the year was thrown wide open with Grand Swiss winner Gujrathi’s victory.

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The Indian is now in a five-way lead going into the last round along side compatriot D Gukesh, Wei Yi of China, Anish Giri of Holland and Abdusattarov -- who all have 7.5 points apiece.

Anish Giri probably has the best chance with his decent tiebreak to annex the crown for the second time running as he takes on tailender compatriot Max Warmerdam.

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Anish starts as a huge favourite in the final round but the same cannot be said of other co-leaders.

R Praggnanandhaa drew with Gukesh despite a wild game out of a Nimzo Indian defense. The players fought hard and it looked as though Praggnanandhaa had an edge too at some point but Gukesh thwarted those attempts to steer the game to a draw.

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Gujrathi started with the Queen pawn and faced the Ragozin defense. Coming out with an opening surprise, the Indian won a pawn on move 17 and though the technical part remained in the ensuing endgame Gujrathi made sure that it remained under control.

In other important games of the day, Wei Yi defeated women’s world champion Wenjun Ju, while Jorden Van Foreest simply blundered in an equal position to hand over the full point in a platter to Anish Giri.

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In the last round, Gukesh will have to meet Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran as black, while Vidit has a tough customer in co-leader Wei Yi. Abdusattarov has to tackle Aleander Donchenko of Germany.

Leon Luke Mendonca put it across A R Saleh Salem of UAE in the challengers’ section and joined Marc Andria Maruizzi of France in the lead on 8.5 points.

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Mendonca, in fact, has a great chance to win the tournament with his very fine tiebreak score and meets Divya Deshmukh in the finale who settled for a draw with D Harika in the penultimate round.

Results round 12 Masters (Indians unless stated): D Gukesh (7.5) drew with R Praggnanandhaa (7); Vidit Gujrathi (7.5) beat Nodirbek Abdusattarov (Uzb, 7.5); Wenjun Ju (Chn, 4) lost to Wei Yi (Chn, 7.5); Jorrden Van Foreest (Ned, 4) lost to Anish Giri (Ned, 7.5); Alireza Firouza (Fra, 7) beat Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 6); Max Warmerdam (Ned, 4) lost to Ding Liren (Chn, 5.5); Alezander Donchenko (Ger, 4.5) drew with Parham Maghsoodloo (Iri, 4.5).

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Challengers: Liam Vrolijk (Ned, 5.5) drew with Jaime Santos Latasa (Esp, 6.5); Marc Andria Mariuzzi (Fra, 8.5) lost to Daniel Dardha (Bel, 8); Eline Roebers (Ned, 2) lost to Erwin L’Ami (Ned, 8); Divya Deshmukh (4.5) drew with D Harika (4.5); A R Saleh Salem (Uae, 5.5) lost to Leon Luke Mendonca (8.5); Yilmaz Mustafa (Tur, 5) beat Stefan Beukema (Ned, 2.5); Hans Moke Niemann (Usa, 6.5) lost to Anton Korobov (Ukr, 7.). 

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Published January 28th, 2024 at 20:30 IST

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