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Praggnanandhaa misses against Wesley So on another day of draws

French duo of Alireza Firouzja and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia and Wesley share the third spot on 2.5 points each, a half point ahead of Anish Giri of Holland and Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 08:25 IST

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Bucharest: Grandmaster R Praggnandhaa yet again squandered promising position to settle for a draw against American Wesley in the fifth round of Superbet Classic tournament as none of the five boards produced any decisive result, here.

The lead positions remained unchanged with Fabiano Caruana of United States still ahead on 3.5 points, enjoying a half point lead over world championship challenger D Gukesh and Praggnanandhaa.

French duo of Alireza Firouzja and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia and Wesley share the third spot on 2.5 points each, a half point ahead of Anish Giri of Holland and Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan.

Local hopeful Deac Bogdan-Daniel is still at the bottom with 1.5 points.

Gukesh also enjoyed some advantage that slipped away against Abdusattorov while Vachier-Lagrave played solidly to hold Caruana.

Bogdan-Daniel drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi in the 10-player double round-robin event, offering USD 350000 as prize money.

Praggnanandhaa is usually spot-on when it comes to accurate calculation or tactics but somehow here he has been missing on advantageous positions and also some winning moves.

Having missed out on a technically winning endgame against Gukesh, Wesley So found himself lucky as the Indian missed a not-so-difficult manoeuvre that he would find in seconds on another day.

Inspired by the presence of Garry Kasparov in the playing hall, Praggnanandhaa chose the King's Indian defense as black, faced the Fianchetto variation and did not have many troubles in maintaining the balance.

Wesley became a little ambitious towards the final stages of the middle game and this is where Praggnanandhaa could have penetrated his king side decisively. Wesley survived with the skin of his teeth.

Gukesh also had a chance against Nodirbek through a tactical stroke that would have ensured consistent pressure and a long-term advantage. The game was drawn without much ado once Gukesh missed out on the opportunity.

Caruana showed his opening expertise to hold Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in a Ruy Lopez open. The American went for a little known variation as black and it was clear that his home-work ran deep. Vachier-Lagrave decided not to take his chances for too long and drew vide repetition in just 28 moves.

Monday is the only rest day in the tournament and the sixth round will be played on Tuesday.

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

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Published 01 July 2024, 08:25 IST

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