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Chess World Cup: India’s Vidit Gujrathi enters quarter-finals


India No.3 Vidit Gujrathi defeated Vasif Durarbayli 1.5-0.5 to reach the quarterfinals of the FIDE chess World Cup here on Monday.

The 26-year old Grandmaster came up with an impressive display to tame his lower-rated Azerbaijan opponent, winning in 38 moves in his fifth round encounter.

The two had played out a draw in the first game of the two-game mini match.

The world No.22 employed the Ruy Lopez Arkangelsk variation against Durarbayli and held his own with black pieces to secure victory.

It is a breakthrough performance by the Nashik-based Gujrathi as he had posted some good wins on the way to reaching the last eight. His victories came against compatriot B Adhiban (round three) and Jeffrey Xiong (round four).

In the quarterfinal, the Indian GM will face the winner of the match between Jan-Krzystof Duda (Poland) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia).

Gujrathi is the first Indian to reach the last eight since maestro Vishwanathan Anand emerged winner in the years 2000 and 2002.

Tournament favourite and world No.1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway was held to a draw in the second game by Russia’s Andrey Espineko and will play the tie-break on Tuesday to determine who advances to the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, American Sam Shankland booked a last eight spot with a 1.5-0.5 win over Peter Svidler (Russia).





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