16 April 2024

Round 10 of FIDE Candidates Played in Toronto

Nepomniachtchi and Gukesh parted peacefully.

Photo credit: Michal Walusza / FIDE
Photo credit: Michal Walusza / FIDE

Round 10 of the FIDE Candidates finished in Toronto. 

In the key matchup of the round, the open tournament leaders Ian Nepomniachtchi and Dommaraju Gukesh opened the game with the Cozio Defence of the Ruy Lopez that was a relatively quiet maneuvering battle. 

After reaching a rook-bishop ending, Fabiano Caruana outplayed Alireza Firouzja as White with subtle play to move up in the standings. Hikaru Nakamura also improved his tournament situation with a win over Nijat Abasov in a difficult game that was not without mistakes. A draw was agreed in the rook endgame immediately after the time control move. The game Praggnanandhaa vs. Vidit ended in a draw.

Standings after Round 10:

1-2. Dommaraju Gukesh, Ian Nepomniachtchi – 6
3-5. Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa – 5.5
6. Vidit Santosh Gujrathi – 5
7. Alireza Firouzja – 3.5 
8. Nijat Abasov – 3.

Round 11 pairings:

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

In the women's section, Aleksandra Goryachkina did not perform very well as White in the middlegame of the Slav Defense against Lei Tingjie. After passing the time control, the Russian Grandmaster found herself in a lost ending, but the Chinese chess player repeatedly missed the strongest continuations, which allowed Goryachkina to equalise the position thanks to coming up with puzzle-like subtleties. However, on move 61, in the ending with White's knight against Black's three pawns, Goryachkina made a fatal mistake, allowing her opponent to queen one of her pawns. With this victory, Lei Tingjie has consolidated her lead.  

The encounter Kateryna Lagno vs. Anna Muzychuk ended in a draw. In the open variation of the Ruy Lopez, some complications from the opening led to a draw in the endgame. A draw was agreed on move 60. 

Nurgyul Salimova was on the verge of defeating Rameshbabu Vaishali but first she failed to win, and then, unable to accept a draw, she made a mistake and lost. The game Tan Zhongyi vs. Koneru was drawn.

Standings after Round 10:

1-2. Tan Zhongyi, Lei Tingjie – 6.5 
3-4. Aleksandra Goryachkina, Kateryna Lagno – 5.5 
5. Hikaru Koneru – 4.5 
6-7. Nurgyul Salimova, Anna Muzychuk – 4
8. Rameshbabu Vaishali – 3.5. 

Round 11 pairings:

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

Tuesday, April 16, is a rest day.

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