HomeSportsChessCandidates Chess 2024: Praggnanandhaa Challenges Firouza, Gukesh Confronts Gujrathi!
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Candidates Chess 2024: Praggnanandhaa Challenges Firouza, Gukesh Confronts Gujrathi!

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Indian chess prodigies R Praggnanandhaa and D Gukesh aim to narrow the distance with leader Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia as they resume their quests in the eighth round of the Candidates chess tournament 2024. Praggnanandhaa, the teenage sensation, will face off against French competitor Firouza Alireza, while Gukesh will compete against fellow Indian Vidit Gujrathi when the tournament recommences on Saturday. While all three Indian players have performed reasonably well in the tournament so far, defending champion Nepomniachtchi currently holds the advantageous position to secure his third consecutive title at the halfway mark.

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With 4.5 points to his name, Nepomniachtchi is content with his performance and emerges as the frontrunner with a half-point lead over his closest competitors: Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh, and top seed Fabiano Caruana of the United States. Gujrathi, with 3.5 points, is noted for his ability to elevate his performance towards the end of tournaments, suggesting a potential surge in the latter half, alongside Hikaru Nakamura, who shares the fifth position with him.

Praggnanandhaa Challenges Firouza, Gukesh Confronts Gujrathi

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Alireza is currently in seventh place with 2.5 points, just ahead of Nijat Abasov of Azerbaijan by half a point. The Indian trio has had more losses than wins in this tournament. Gujrathi outplayed Caruana in previous matches and had a strong position against Abasov in the last round, resulting in a draw. Praggnanandhaa has shown solid play and preparation, securing a draw with Caruana in a French defense and winning against Gujrathi, demonstrating his confidence and willingness to take risks. Gukesh is slated to play Gujrathi next, a match likely to attract significant attention during the live broadcast. Notably, Nepomniachtchi and Caruana remain the only undefeated players at the midway point of the tournament. Nepomniachtchi’s past victories have seen him leading the event after the halfway mark, a trend consistent with the current situation.


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