Prospective chess players: Praggnanandhaa faces Nakamura, and Gukesh faces Caruana

As the Candidates chess competition moves toward its conclusion, Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh will face Fabiano Caruana, the tournament’s top seed, in the 11th round. He will need to work hard to maintain his lead.

Gukesh, 17, is tied for first place with Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia.

After a rest day, 18-year-old R Praggnanandhaa will compete against American Hikaru Nakamura, who is making a comeback.

With only four rounds left, Vidit Gujrathi has maintained his position in the race and simply has to finish well, while the two Indian teens are on an even playing field.

The lone player who hasn’t lost so far, Nepomniachtchi, is competing under the FIDE banner and faces formidable competition in the next two rounds.

The tournament’s first two matches—Gujrathi vs. Nepomniachtchi in the next round and Praggnanandhaa in the next round—will likely determine the tournament’s mood and might even determine who will contend for the world title in the future.

Given that Caruana has white pieces, Gukesh believes that their matchup will be vital. Caruana will have the burden of proving his critics incorrect if he is successful in pressing for the upper hand.

The American-Italian competitor is in his sixth consecutive Candidates event, although he has only emerged victorious once.

If Gukesh survives Caruana, he will likely focus on defeating Abasov, who is ranked last, in the 12th round.

Even though Abasov has been playing very well with his white pieces, Gukesh, who is matched up against the Azerbaijani with black, will undoubtedly give it his best to win.

From an Indian standpoint, Praggnanandhaa’s two games are the most important matchups of the following two rounds.

The Indian, who defeated Nakamura in the most recent World Cup, is eager for a rematch and may even take a hint from Gujrathi, who has defeated the American in both of his encounters.

Praggnanandhaa’s next matchup is against Nepomniachtchi, and if he can handle the strain of these two matches, he should be in the running for the 48,000 Euro winner’s payout. Nakamura will be up next.

Two Chinese athletes who have shown themselves to be better than the others are competing in the women’s candidates category: Zhongyi Tan and Tingjie Lei.

In the women’s event, talents have been the deciding factor, but in the men’s event, there has been some pretty intense training.

The Indian challenge has all but finished at this phase, but realistically Koneru Humpy could still be in the running.

Aleksandra Goryachkina and Kateryna Lagno, both Russians, are the closest competitors with 5.5 points each, behind the two leaders on 6.5 points apiece.

With a score of 4.5, Humpy is in a remote fifth place and need a miracle.

Despite winning her most recent match against Bulgarian Nurgyul Salimova, the other Indian, R Vaishali, is still ranked last.

Round 11 pairings (Indians unless otherwise noted):

R Praggnanandhaa (5.5) vs. Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 5.5); D Gukesh (6) vs. Fabiano Caruana (USA, 5.5); Vidit Gujrathi (5) vs. Ian Nepomniachtchi (FIDE, 6); Firouza Alireza (FRA, 3.5) vs. Nijat Abasov (AZE, 3).

The women’s matches are as follows: Zhongyi Tan (6.5) vs. Kateryna Lagno (FIDE, 5.5); R Vaishali (3.5) vs. Nurgyuaal Salimova (BUL, 4); Tingjei Lei (CHN, 6.5) vs. Anna Muzychuk (UKR, 4).

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