World rapid chess championship: Guha, Gukesh punch way above their weight

Humpy remains unbeaten, moves to women’s joint second.

File picture of D. Gukesh.   -  M. Vedhan

Mitrabha Guha and D. Gukesh — among the three lowest-rated Indian male players in the fray — produced impressive results to overtake several illustrious teammates on the second day of the World rapid chess championship at Warsaw on Monday.

Carlsen leads

After nine rounds, the young duo was sharing the 14th spot at six points. The leaderboard is headed by World champion Magnus Carlsen (7.5). Four rounds remain.

In the women’s section, defending champion K. Humpy has 3.5 points from four rounds to share the second spot at six points from eight rounds. With three rounds to go, Alexandra Kosteniuk leads at 7.5 points.

READ: Harsha, Vaishali shine on Day One

The talk of the day was the stupendous performance of young Uzbek Nodirbek Abdusattorov. In the last three rounds, the 17-year-old stunned Levon Aronian, Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Boris Gelfand to set up a 10th-round meeting with Carlsen.

Among the Indians, Guha performed way over his rating of 2107 to shock Norwegian Aryan Tari (2542), Kazakh Rinat Jumabayev (2562) and Russian Alexandr Predke (2630) before holding another Russian, ninth seed Sergey Karjakin (2757).

Gukesh (2050), too, remained unbeaten on the day and won the last two rounds against Greek rival Nikolas Theodorou (2559) and Armenia’s Tigran Petrosian (2621) to match Guha’s tally.

Harsha keeps form

First-day hero Harsha Bharathakoti (2484) continued to impress on his way to 5.5 points. He drew with David Paravyan (2671), lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2727), shocked Aleksey Dreev (2621) and proved equal to Maxim Matlakov (2652).

Humpy was the other Indian to shine. The seventh seed continued her unbeaten run with wins over Julia Movsesian (Czech), Marta Michna (Germany) and Ekaterini Pavlidou (Greece). She now takes on leader Kosteniuk in the crucial ninth round.

R. Vaishali (5.5) could not reproduce her first-day display but still performed way higher than her rating of 2201 to score two points off three higher-rated rivals.

Indians’ points tally: Open (after 9 rounds): Mitrabha Guha, D. Gukesh (6 each); Abhimanyu Puranik, Harsha Bharathakoti (5.5 each); S.L. Narayanan (5); Vidit Gujrathi, Nihal Sarin, P. Harikrishna (4.5 each); Raunak Sadhwani, Arjun Erigaisi (4 each); Aditya Mittal (2.5).

Women (after 8 rounds): K. Humpy (6); R. Vaishali (5.5); Padmini Rout (5) and Vantika Agarwal (4.5).

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