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Vidit Gujrathi draws with Richard Rapport, in joint third place; Magnus Carlsen in lead


Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi drew with Richard Rapport of Hungary in the ninth round to be in joint third place with 5.5 points in the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament at Wijk Aan Zee in the Netherlands.

Young Indian GM R Praggnanandhaa’s struggles continued as he lost to Sergey Karjakin, for his third straight defeat, on Tuesday night. He remained on 2.5 points and in 13th place in the 14-player field.

World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen scored a win over one of his main competitors, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, to jump into the lead. Dutchman Anish Giri trails the Norwegian by a half-point after defeating Sam Shankland.

Rapport tested Gujrathi in the Catalan defence and eventually won a pawn, but the Indian GM put up a stubborn defence and opted for a draw.

In the game against Karjakin, Praggnanandhaa boldly sacrificed an exchange as White in the London System and got sufficient compensation to say the least. However, an error on the 40th move proved costly for the Indian.

In the Challengers event being played simultaneously, Indian GM Arjun Erigaisi put it across Chinese WGM Jiner Zhu in the ninth round to increase his lead over the field to two points. He has eight points and faces Polina Shuvalova in the 10th round.

Surya Shekhar Ganguly, the other Indian in the fray, went down to Jonas Bhul Bjerre to remain on four points and in ninth spot.

Standings after Round 9: Masters: 1. ??gnus Carlsen 6.5 points; 2. Anish Giri 6; 3-4. Vidit Gujrathi and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 5.5; 5-7. Richard Rapport, Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana 5; 8-9. Jorden Van Foreest and Andrey Esipenko 4.5; 10. Jan-Krzysztof Duda 4; 11-12. Sam Shankland and Daniil Dubov 3.5; 13. R Praggnanandhaa 2.5; 14. Nils Grandelius 2.





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