Picture Credit: X

Picture Credit: X

In round five of the Candidates Chess 2024, the Indian grandmaster, Dommaraju Gukesh, defeated Nijat Abasov from Azerbaijan, to catch the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi at the top of the points table. The other Indian grandmasters in the tournament, Vidit Gujrathi and Rameshbabu Praggnanadhaa, were in strong positions in their respective matches, but they had to settle for draws ultimately.

During his pulsating battle against Nijat Abasov, the Indian Dommaraju Gukesh found himself in a great position, but he didn’t manage to put away his opponent several times, especially on the either side of move 40. In the queen endgame, Abasov had the opportunity to earn a draw at one stage, if he had found the computer’s suggested defences, but after 87 moves, Gukesh managed to finish on top.

With this vital win, Dommaraju Gukesh joined Ian Nepomniachtchi in the lead of the Candidates Chess 2024 with 3.5 points each after five rounds.

In the other matches, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa had a great chance to defeat Ian Nepomniachtchi with his impressive opening preparation, but the Russian found a way to survive the dicey position. Vidit Gujrathi also had the American Fabiano Caruana on the ropes, but he couldn’t register a win over him after missing a critical response.

The women’s competition of the Candidates Chess 2024 had the Indian grandmaster, Vaishali Rameshbabu, in a tough spot against the Ukrainian Anna Muzychuk, but she found a way to earn a draw, while her compatriot Koneru Humpy played out a draw against the Russian Aleksandra Goryachkina. With no decisive results in the women’s competition, Tan Zhongyi of China maintained her 0.5 lead over the rest of the players in the field after five rounds.