Prague Masters: Gukesh beats Keymer, Praggnanandhaa draws with Bartel

With just one round remaining Praggnanandhaa shares the second spot with Nguyen Thai Dai Van of the Czech Republic and Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran on 4.5 points apiece.

Published : Mar 07, 2024 17:20 IST - 2 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh.
FILE PHOTO: Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh. | Photo Credit: VEDHAN M/The Hindu

FILE PHOTO: Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh. | Photo Credit: VEDHAN M/The Hindu

Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh defeated Vincent Keymer of Germany, but his compatriot R. Praggnanandhaa was held to a draw by Mateusz Bartel of Poland in the eighth and penultimate round of the Prague Masters Chess tournament here on Thursday.

Uzbek Grandmaster Nodirbek Abdusattorov’s winning run continued as he crashed through the defences of Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran to win the title with one round remaining.

With six points in his bag now, Abdusattorov has an unassailable 1.5-point lead. The Uzbek also climbed up to the fourth spot in world ranking following his stupendous show here.

The other Indian in the fray -- Vidit Gujrathi also played out a draw with Richard Rapport of Romania.

With just one round remaining, Maghsoodloo, Praggnanandhaa and Nguyen Thai Dai Van of the Czech Republic share the second spot on 4.5 points apiece.

Local star David Navara, Rapport and Gukesh are on 50 per cent score with four points, a full point ahead of Keymer and Bartel. Gujrathi, on 2.5 points, is at the bottom of the table.

Gukesh was aggressive right from the beginning of a Nimzo Indian defense game with white.

Keymer was pushed to the wall in the middle game with a wrong pawn capture and what followed was a string of white pieces gunning down the black king. It took just 27 moves for Gukesh to wrap up the issue.

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Abdusattorov played with a lot of determination to beat nearest rival Maghsoodloo.

Playing with white, the Uzbek sacrificed his Queen for a rook and minor piece and his judgment proved perfect as black could not deal with the pressure that followed. It was a picturesque finish in the end.

Praggnandhaa did not get many chances against Bartel out of a Sicilian Classical defense with black.

The Polish GM opened up the centre at an opportune moment and opened up the black king’s side through an exchange sacrifice. The result was a draw through perpetual checks.

Results after round 8 (Indians unless stated):
D Gukesh (4) beat Vincent Keymer (GER, 3); Nodirbek Abdusattarov (UZB, 6) beat Parham Maghsoodloo (IRI, 4.5); Mateusz Bartel (POL, 3) drew with R Praggnanandhaa (4.5); Vidit Gujrathi (2.5) drew with Richard Rapport (ROU, 4); Nguyen Thai Dai Van (CZE, 4.5); drew with David Navara (CZE, 4).
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