Tata Steel Masters: Carlsen beats Praggnanandhaa to grab lead

World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen beats R. Praggnandhaa to claim the lead after seven rounds; Vidit Gujrathi suffers first defeat.

FILE PHOTO: Magnus Carlsen defeated Praggnanandhaa with black pieces.   -  AP

Vidit Gujrathi suffered his first loss while R. Praggnanandhaa surrendered to World champion and new leader Magnus Carlsen in the seventh round of the Masters section of Tata Steel chess tournament at Wijk aan Zee, near Amsterdam, on Saturday.

Joint leader after six rounds, Vidit (4 points) faltered against defending champion Jorden van Foreest in 43 moves for the tied third spot. Praggnanandhaa (2.5 points), playing his first classical time-format game against Carlsen (5), lost in 34 moves.


But the talking point of the day was Daniil Dubov’s decision to give a walkover to Anish Giri after being asked by the organisers to play with his mask on. The Russian maintained that since he tested negative for Covid before the round, he was not required to wear the mask during play.

In the Challengers’ section, leader Arjun Erigaisi (6 points) drew with second seed Rinat Jumabayev (Kazakhstan) in 84 moves to lead the field by a point.

Surya Shekhar Ganguly (4) shared the fifth spot after a draw with Russian teenager Volodar Murzin.

Seventh-round results (Indians unless stated):

Masters: Jorden van Foreest (Ned, 3.5) bt Vidit Gujrathi (4); R. Praggnanandhaa (2.5) lost to Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 5); Richard Rapport (Hun, 4) drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 4.5); Anish Giri (Ned, 4) received a walkover from Daniil Dubov (Rus, 2.5); Andrey Esipenko (Rus, 4) drew with Sam Shankland (USA, 3); Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Pol, 3) lost to Fabiano Caruana (USA, 3.5); Nils Grandelius (Swe, 2) drew with Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 3.5).

Challengers (involving Indians): Rinat Jumabayev (Kaz, 4.5) drew with Arjun Erigaisi (6); Surya Shekhar Ganguly (4) drew with Volodar Murzin (Rus, 4).

Standings after Round 7 (Masters)
  • 1. Маgnus Carlsen 5 points;
  • 2. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 4.5;
  • 3-6. Vidit Gujrathi, Richard Rapport, Andrey Esipenko, Anish Giri 4;
  • 7-9. Sergey Karjakin, Fabiano Caruana, Jorden Van Foreest 3.5;
  • 10-11. Sam Shankland, Jan-Krzysztof Duda 3;
  • 12-13. Daniil Dubov, R. Praggnanandhaa 2.5;
  • 14. Nils Grandelius 2.

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