Disappointing day for Indians as overnight leader Gukesh slips to third, Pragg suffers second loss

Kolkata, Sep 6 (PTI) Overnight leader D Gukesh’s unbeaten streak came to an end with a loss to compatriot Vidit Gujrathi as he slipped to third place on a challenging day for the Indians in the rapid open section of the Tata Steel Chess India 2023, here on Wednesday.

Latest sensation R Praggnanandhaa also lost one game in the rapid section as none of the Indians find themselves in the lead with three more rounds left on the final day of the rapid section.

Gukesh, Praggnanandhaa and Gujrathi all find themselves trailing by one-and-half points to sole leader Maxime Vachier Lagrave of France.

The 2021 World Blitz champion, Maxime, leads the pack with 4.5 points, closely followed by 2019 World Cup winner Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan (4 points).

Maxime produced the upset of the day in round four when he outwitted 18-year-old German prodigy Vincent Keymar with an inspired exchange sacrifice, winning in the endgame on move 53.

In the next round, Maxime settled for a draw with Gukesh and ended the day with a 47-move win over 2021 World Rapid champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan.

World Cup silver medalist Praggnanandhaa suffered his second defeat of the meet when he went down to Pentala Harikrishna in the fifth round in an endgame battle.

Having lost to Keymer on Tuesday, Praggnanandhaa started the day in a positive manner, overcoming Nodirbek Abdusattorov after a middlegame struggle in the fourth round.

The 18-year-old took over after a couple of inaccuracies by the young Uzbek, closing out the game in a Queen vs Rook endgame.

In the last round of the day, Praggnanandhaa drew his game against Alexander Grischuk with black pieces in 66 moves.

The Indian equalised with the black pieces out of the opening before pieces were exchanged, leading to an equal rook endgame.

Source: PTI News


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