Indian Grandmasters Shine in the Second Round of Candidates 2024

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Candidates 2024

The second round of the Candidates 2024 chess tournament was a momentous occasion for Indian chess, with Grandmasters Vidit Gujrathi and D Gukesh registering significant victories.

Candidates 2024: Vidit Gujrathi breaks Nakamura’s streak

Vidit Gujrathi, one of India’s top chess players, pulled off a stunning victory over world No. 3 Hikaru Nakamura of the United States. This victory was particularly noteworthy as it ended Nakamura’s 47-game unbeaten streak in classical chess.

The game was marked by Gujrathi’s audacious bishop sacrifice on the 11th move. This move took Nakamura by surprise and set the tone for the rest of the game. Nakamura had the option to recapture the square or move his knight from the e5 square. He chose the latter, a decision that eventually led to his defeat.

Gujrathi’s victory was not just a personal triumph but also a testament to his strategic gameplay and deep understanding of the game. His bishop sacrifice could potentially become his signature move, as he had also offered a bishop sacrifice in his first game against Gukesh.

Candidates 2024: D Gukesh triumphs over R Praggnanandhaa

In an all-Indian match, 17-year-old D Gukesh defeated R Praggnanandhaa. Gukesh’s win came with black pieces after Praggnanandhaa resigned after the 33rd move. The game was complex, with Praggnanandhaa blitzing out his preparation and getting a good position. However, Gukesh’s first deviation made Praggnanandhaa think. He made a sound bishop sacrifice but could not follow through. Gukesh regrouped his pieces, consolidated his position, and won the game.

D Gukesh and R Praggnanandhaa at Candidates 2024
D Gukesh and R Praggnanandhaa at Candidates 2024

In the women’s category, R Vaishali had a poor day much like his younger brother Praggnanandhaa. Vaishali lost to China’s Tan Zhongyi. Tan was the only player to end the first round with victory across her name in round one.

Koneru Humpy registered another draw as she ended her round two match against Russia’s Kateryna Lagno in a stalemate.

Legend Viswanathan Anand, who is in Toronto doing commentary in the tournament, called the day a thrilling one with Vidit’s win being highlight of the day. The winner of the open category will take on World Champion Ding Loren while the winner of the women’s category will face Ju Wenjun.

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