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Chess | Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh register impressive wins

Cheperinov jumps to top spot

India’s young guns R. Praggnanandhaa and D. Gukesh posted impressive wins in the fourth round of the Masters category in the 18th Gibraltar Chess festival here as Georgia’s Ivan Cheperinov jumped into sole lead with an all-win record.

Praggnanandhaa, who suffered a shock loss to compatriot P.V. Nandhidhaa in the opening round, has bounced back in style and on Friday won his fourth-round match against Russian Voldar Murzin, like him a teen prodigy, to take his tally to three points.

Gukesh put it across Dutch player Peter Lombaers in 36 moves to join Praggnanandhaa on three points.

Another Indian to shine was young GM Vaibhav Suri (Elo rating 2593), who held world No. 7 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France, Elo 2770) to a creditable draw.

The top-seed Shakriar Mammedyarov (Azerbaijan) dropped half a point in his game against Leondro Krysa of Argentina.

The top-rated Indians in the event, B. Adhiban and K. Sasikiran had mixed luck. The former was forced to share the point with compatriot M.R. Lalith Babu while Sasikiran defeated Azerbaijan’s Woman Grandmaster Gunay Mammadzada in 41 moves.

There were also wins for Indians players S.L. Narayanan, S. Ravi Teja and Shardul Gugare.

Narayanan is among a bunch of 12 players in joint second with 3.5 points.

Cheperinov continued his superb start as he pushed his pawn to attack on the kingside and was rewarded when he broke through on the ‘h’ file in his fourth round match against Maksim Chigaev of Russia in 30 moves.

Promising Indian junior Divya Deshmukh went down to defending champion Tan Zhongyi in the women’s event.

Important results: Round 4: Shakriar Memmedyarov (3) drew with Leondro Kyrsa (3.5); Maxim Vachier-Lagrave (3) drew with Vaibhav Suri (3); B. Adhiban (3) drew with M.R. Lalith Babu (3); K. Sasikiran (3) bt Gunay Mammadzada (2); Veselin Topalov (3.5) bt Jaime Santosa Latasa (2.5); R. Prgannandhaa (3) bt Volder Murzin (2); D. Gukesh (3) bt Peter Lombaers (2); S.L. Narayanan (3.5) bt Ori Kobo (2.5); Karthikeyan Murali (3) drew with Rishi Sardana (3).

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 8:49:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/chess-praggnanandhaa-gukesh-register-impressive-wins/article30654141.ece

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