Candidates 2024: Mixed results for Indian contingent in fourth round

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Candidates 2024

The fourth round of the FIDE Candidates 2024 tournament was a day of mixed fortunes for the Indian contingent. While young prodigies R. Praggnanandhaa, D. Gukesh, and R. Vaishali held their own against formidable opponents, seasoned players Vidit Gujrathi and Koneru Humpy faced defeats.

Candidates 2024: Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh, and Vaishali Secure Draws

Praggnanandhaa, the youngest grandmaster in history, played against Hikaru Nakamura, the world No. 3. The duo settled for a peaceful draw in 24 moves. Gukesh, another young talent, held top seed Fabiano Caruana to a draw after an intense 50-move battle. Despite Caruana’s extra pawn advantage, Gukesh’s tenacious defence prevented a breakthrough. Vaishali, Praggnanandhaa’s sister, also secured a draw against top seed Aleksandra Goryachkina.

Vidit Gujrathi and Koneru Humpy Suffer Defeats

Vidit Gujrathi, playing with the black pieces, faced Ian Nepomniachtchi, the reigning champion. Despite matching Nepomniachtchi’s moves in the Ruy Lopez Berlin, Vidit found himself at a disadvantage due to a ‘boxed’ rook on the queenside. Eventually, Nepomniachtchi’s central pawn promotion forced Vidit to resign.

Koneru Humpy, a veteran in the women’s event, lost to a lower-rated Nurgyul Salimova. Despite her experience, Humpy’s aggressive strategy backfired, leading to Salimova securing her maiden victory in the event.

The results of the fourth round have significant implications for the tournament standings. With his win over Vidit, Nepomniachtchi became the sole leader in the open category. On the other hand, Vidit’s loss was his second consecutive defeat, dropping him to seventh place with 1.5 points in four rounds.

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