Maintaining his irrepressible form in Armageddon, D. Gukesh escaped with an extra half-a-point off leader Fabiano Caruana in the seventh round of the 11th Norway Chess at Stavanger, Norway, on Tuesday.
With two rounds remaining, Caruana (14.5 points) went into the final rest day two points ahead of his nearest challenger Hikaru Nakamura.
Despite prevailing in four out of five Armageddon games so far, Gukesh (10) slipped a rung to the joint fourth spot after Wesley So (10.5) collected three points for beating Uzbek teenager Nodirbek Abdusattorov in their classical game. Gukesh found himself in the company of Anish Giri, the conqueror of local hope Aryan Tari.
After a well-contested 52-move draw in the classical contest, Gukesh was extremely lucky to escape with a draw, worth an extra half-a-point for playing with black pieces. Caruana’s menacing kingside offensive left Gukesh finding the best defensive resources. Eventually, the youngster managed to foil Caruana’s bid to win before time ran out for the leader.
Magnus Carlsen missed an opportunity to beat Alireza Firouzja in the classical game before winning in Armageddon. Hikaru Nakamura was the first to win in Armageddon after facing Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
When the action resumes after a day of rest, Gukesh plays white against Tari. The other eighth-round pairings are Caruana-So; Abdusattorov-Nakamura; Mamedyarov-Carlsen; Firouzja-Giri.
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