19 April 2024

Three Players Lead FIDE Candidates

Tan Zhongyi is ahead in the women's section.

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

Round 12 of the FIDE Candidates finished in Toronto. 

Ian Nepomniachtchi vs. Rameshbabu Pragnanandha was a fairly calm game in the French Defence, in which the position was always nearly equal. A draw was agreed on move 55 in a rook ending. 

Hikaru Nakamura and Dommaraju Gukesh caught up with the Russian by winning their games. Playing White, the American was stronger than Alireza Firouzja in the middlegame complications, and the Indian grandmaster methodically outplayed Nijat Abasov as Black.

Fabiano Caruana defeated Vidit Santosh as White and is now half a point behind the leaders.

Standings after Round 12:

1-3. Ian Nepomniachtchi, Dommaraju Gukesh, Hikaru Nakamura – 7.5 
4. Fabiano Caruana – 7
5. Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa – 6
6. Vidit Santosh Gujrathi – 5
7. Alireza Firouzja – 4.5
8. Nijat Abasov – 3.

Round 13 pairings:

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

In the women's tournament, Tan Zhongyi saved a seemingly hopeless position against Nurgyul Salimova as Black to retain her unshared lead. Lei Tingjie could have outplayed Ekaterina Lagno but did not find a way to victory: a draw by a repetition was agreed immediately after Black's move 40. 

Aleksandra Goryachkina held her ground in a rather difficult position against Humpy Koneru: the Indian chess player opted for the repetition of moves in a better position. Rameshbabu Vaishali defeated Anna Muzychuk in a difficult battle with the black pieces.  

Standings after Round 12:

1. Tan Zhongyi – 8
2. Lei Tingjie – 7.5
3-5. Aleksandra Goryachkina, Humpy Koneru, Kateryna Lagno – 6
6. Rameshbabu Vaishali – 5.5
7-8. Anna Muzychuk, Nurgyul Salimova – 4.5. 

Round 13 pairings:

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

Friday, April 19, is a scheduled rest day at the tournament.

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