GM D Gukesh Strikes back in Joint Lead as the Second half of Candidates begin:Round 8 report.

GM D Gukesh Strikes back in Joint Lead as the Second half of Candidates begin:Round 8 report.

GM D Gukesh played exceptionally well to get the better of GM Vidit Gujarathi. It was a painful loss for Gukesh in round 7 but after the rest day, he struck back and became the Joint leader along with  GM Ian Nepomniachtchi. Playing with black pieces Gukesh surprised Vidit with his 4th move a6  and Vidit almost took 20 minutes to decide his plan of action although there were no inaccuracies in the opening.

GM D Gukesh was asked by GM Vishy Anand who gave a dinner prior to the Candidates to motivate them whether you would prefer a loss before rest day or any other day and he was the only to say I don’t mind a loss before a rest day it will give me time to strike back after the break and exactly that’s what happened. GM D Gukesh said in the Press Conference “Coming back into the joint lead feels good, but I am just happy that I played a good game,” said Gukesh. “I was not expecting this game to go so well.”

GM  R Praggnanandhaa played a very calmer game against World no2 GM Alireza Firouza and settled for a draw and he is half point behind GM Ian Nepo and GM D Gukesh.

Another comeback was by GM Hikaru Nakamura when he defeated his counterpart GM Fabiano Caurana who had a decent chance to join the leaders by drawing his game. Although Nakamura stunned him and now 2nd place is tied between Nakamarua, Praggnanandhaa and Caruana who are just half point behind the leaders. Henceforth tournament is wide open after 8th round.

In the women’s section overnight leader GM Tan Zhongyi was defeated by her counter part GM Lei Tingie.  GM Koneru Humpy defeated her counter part GM Elect R Vaishali to register her first win in candidates

Round 8th was so far an Interesting one with solid openings and calmer Chess being played but now the tournaments gets very interesting as its wide open.

Standings after Round 8:


1-2. Gukesh, Nepomniachtchi – 5
3-4. Nakamura, Praggnanandhaa – 4½
5. Caruana – 4½
6. Vidit – 3½
7. Firouzja – 3
8. Abasov – 2½


1-3. Goryachkina, Lei, Tan  – 5
4. Lagno – 4½
5-6. Koneur, Salimova – 3½
7. A. Muzychuk – 3
8. Vaishali – 2½

Round 9 is going to be a very crucial one as GM D Gukesh takes on GM R Praggnanandhaa where as GM Vidit Gujarathi takes on GM Hikaru Nakamura. But all eyes will be on GM Ian Nepomniachtchi as he takes on deadly Gm Alireza Firouza who has nothing to lose will go out with a full attack to come back in the tournament.

In the Women’s section after registering for the first win GM Koneru Humpy has a fair chance to make a come back she is facing GM Lagno with white pieces whereas Lagno is full 1 point ahead than her.



Vidit – Nakamura
Gukesh – Praggnanandhaa
Firouzja – Nepomniachtchi
Abasov – Caruana


Koneru – Lagno
Vaishali – Tan
Lei – Salimova
A. Muzychuk – Goryachkina



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