Overnight leader D Gukesh’s previously unbeaten streak was brought to a halt with a defeat against fellow Indian Vidit Gujrathi, causing him to slide down to the third position in the challenging Tata Steel Chess India 2023 rapid open section held on Wednesday. The latest sensation, R Praggnanandhaa, also suffered a loss in one of his games during the rapid section.
Gukesh, Praggnanandhaa, and Gujrathi all find themselves trailing by a margin of one-and-a-half points behind the sole leader, Maxime Vachier Lagrave from France.
In the 2021 World Blitz championship, Maxime took the lead with 4.5 points, while closely pursued by Teimour Radjabov from Azerbaijan, the 2019 World Cup champion, who had 4 points. Maxime’s standout performance of the day occurred during the fourth round, where he strategically outplayed the 18-year-old German talent, Vincent Keymar, with an inspired exchange sacrifice, eventually securing victory in the endgame on move 53.
In the following round, Maxime secured a draw against Gukesh and concluded the day with a 47-move victory over Nodirbek Abdusattorov, the 2021 World Rapid champion from Uzbekistan.
Praggnanandhaa, the World Cup silver medalist, faced his second defeat of the tournament in the fifth round, succumbing to Pentala Harikrishna in an intense endgame contest. After his loss to Keymer on Tuesday, Praggnanandhaa began the day on a positive note, prevailing over Nodirbek Abdusattorov following a challenging middlegame battle in the fourth round.
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