Superbet Classic Chess: Praggnanandhaa to take on Bogdan-Daniel; Gukesh up against Vachier-Lagrave

While Praggnanandhaa has not been at his best in better positions, World Championship challenger D Gukesh has survived pretty well despite living dangerously in a couple of games

Published - July 02, 2024 02:18 pm IST - Bucharest (Romania)

Grandmaster D. Gukesh

Grandmaster D. Gukesh | Photo Credit: PTI

Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa will look to sharpen his game after squandering winning opportunities when he takes on last-placed Deac Bogdan-Daniel of Romania in the sixth round of the Superbet Classic Chess tournament.

While Praggnanandhaa has not been at his best in better positions, World Championship challenger D Gukesh has survived pretty well despite living dangerously in a couple of games in the tournament, which is a part of the Grand chess tour.

With five rounds gone and just four more to come, the two Indians with three points apiece, are within striking distance of the tournament leader Fabiano Caruana of United States who is on 3.5 points.

Alireza Firouzja and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi and American Wesley So share the fourth spot on 2.5 points each, a half point ahead of Dutchman Anish Giri and Uzbek Nodirbek Abdusattorov. Bogdan-Daniel is at the bottom of the table with 1.5 points.

Gukesh will have black pieces against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and it should not be a tall order for the Indian who has been trying various set ups against the King pawn opening.

Vachier-Lagrave, on the other hand, will be hoping for a complicated struggle but the fact that he is not very adventurous when it comes to opening choices makes his task a little more difficult.

Praggnanandhaa will not only be favourite but will also be under pressure. In the previous round, the Indian missed out on a straightforward winning manoeuvre against Wesley So while earlier on, Gukesh survived what was a technically difficult but theoretically lost endgame against him.

With the white pieces to back him the ball will be in Praggnanandhaa's court to deliver the goods.

Bogdan-Daniel is still hunting for an elusive victory with just three draws thus far and the Romanian knows it will not be easy to cross a tiger on the prowl.

Caruana has had some good games and will like to continue in similar fashion. The next round is against Ian Nepomniachtchi who has drawn all his games so far in the tournament.

Pairings round 6: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 2.5) vs D Gukesh (Ind, 3); Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzb, 2) vs Anish Giri (Ned, 2); Alireza Firouzja (Fra, 2.5) vs Wesley So (Usa, 2.5) R Praggnanandhaa (Ind, 3) vs Deac Bogdan Daniel (Rou, 1.5); Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 3.5) vs Ian Nepomniachtchi (FID, 2.5).

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