Candidates 2024 Round 3 highlights: Pragg-Vaishali register first wins, Gukesh, Humpy manage draws

R Praggnanandhaa bagged his first win of the Candidates 2024 tournament after he beat compatriot Vidit Gujrathi in a nervy round three match 

Praggnanandhaa’s win came with the black pieces after he pulled off a surprise opening move, opting for a rare variation of the Ruy Lopez

Vidit, who bettered Hikaru Nakamura in the last round, managed to drag the game deep, but was eventually forced to resign after being put under tremendous pressure by Praggnanandhaa

The win lifted Praggnanandhaa to joint fourth in the points table, along with Vidit

D Gukesh had his chances against defending champion Ian Nepomniachtchi but failed to cash in

Gukesh enjoyed some serious advantage going into the middle game, but once the rooks were off the board, Nepomniachtchi could breathe a lot easier.

As the game approached the time-control, it became clear that Nepomniachtchi had solidly seen off the worst phase. He offered a draw, and Gukesh accepted

A day after siblings R. Vaishali and Praggnanandhaa suffered defeats, Saturday’s triumphant duo had an added reason to be pleased. They were the only third-round winners in their respective sections

Vaishali carved out an impressive victory over Bulgaria’s Nurgyul Salimova

The battle between the two lowest-rated players in the eight-player field saw the Indian launch a well-calculated kingside offensive and close out the game without much resistance

Koneru Humpy denied leader Tan Zhongyi a third straight victory and matched her all the way to a solid draw

For the record, Tan stays ahead at 2.5 points, and Goryachkina is next at 2 points, followed half a point behind by the trio of Humpy, Vaishali and Lagno