D. Gukesh outplayed fellow teenager and former World rapid champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov in the Armageddon game, but chose to draw with black pieces to emerge as a 1.5-1.0 winner in the fifth round of the 11th Norway Chess in Stavanger, Norway, on Sunday.
Gukesh’s gesture to do just enough to gain the extra half-point at stake in the Armageddon game kept him in the fourth spot behind Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Alireza Firouzja.
On a day when Caruana lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in their clash in the classical format, Nakamura defeated last-man Aryan Tari and replaced Caruana as the World No. 2 in live ratings.
The clash between Gukesh and Abdusattorov was an uneventful affair with the players settling for a draw in 33 moves. In their Armageddon game, Gukesh seized the edge by the 10th move and gained a sizable advantage by the 18th move. Facing a must-win situation with white pieces, a desperate Abdusattorov traded his queen for two rooks before Gukesh tightened his grip by advancing a queenside pawn to the seventh rank.
Gukesh could have forced the issue over the board but chose to repeat the moves. The 37-move draw from the black side raised Gukesh’s tally by half a point to 7.
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