chessbase india logo

Candidates 2024 R7: Praggnanandhaa's French Defence holds well against the World no.2 Fabiano Caruana

by Shahid Ahmed - 12/04/2024

D Gukesh suffered his first loss of the event in the seventh round of FIDE Candidates 2024. He made a well timed knight sacrifice to complicate things for his opponent - Alireza Firouzja (FRA). However, in time trouble, the World no.6 prevailed after Gukesh blundered. R Praggnanandhaa employed French Defence against the World no.2 - Fabiano Caruana (USA). It was enough for him to share the point. Vidit Gujrathi's all attempts to score a full point was denied by Nijat Abasov (AZE). Hikaru Nakamura (USA) and Ian Nepomniachtchi had an intriguing draw. Hikaru ended up having a rook, knight and undeveloped bishop against Nepo's queen. He was forced to draw the game by perpetual checks. Today is a rest day. Round 8 starts tomorrow Saturday at 2:30 p.m. local time, 12 a.m. IST. Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Nepomniachtchi emerges sole leader

One thing is for sure, R Praggnanandhaa has prepared a lot of openings and we obviously have not seen the end of his surprises. D Gukesh losing his game meant Ian Nepomniachtchi has become the sole leader 4.5/7. He is closely followed by Fabiano Caruana (USA), R Praggnanandhaa and D Gukesh at 4/7 each.

R Praggnanandhaa held World no.2 Fabiano Caruana (USA) to a draw

Caruana - Praggnanandhaa: 0.5-0.5

Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2803) and R Praggnanandhaa (2747) had some fantastic battles at the FIDE World Cup 2023 last year, before Caruana getting eliminated by Praggnanandhaa. This time, the teenager decided to surprise the World no.2 by deploying French Defence. He felt that one point he should have played g5 but he was not sure if it would have given him anything.

Position after 27.Rdb1

I think the above position is what Praggnanandhaa was talking about when he felt he could have opted for 27...g5. I can be wrong also as it was a post-game interview without a 2D board. Neither side by any mistake which means the game took its natural course and ended in a draw.

Praggnanandhaa's French Love! World no.2 Caruana vs Pragg, Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
Praggnanandhaa: "You have to give your best and keep fighting" | Video: FIDE

GM Kateryna Lagno glances at Fabiano Caruana and R Praggnanandhaa's game

Firouzja - Gukesh: 1-0

Alireza Firouzja (FRA, 2760) and D Gukesh (2743) had various results in their previous encounter as they have a contrasting style. Firouzja was getting low on time, Gukesh decided to complicate things by making an interesting knight sacrifice which is a good practical decision.

Position after 27...Nxf2!?

28.Kxf2 Rxd5 29.Re4 Rad8 30.Be3 Bc5 Firouzja thought that he was lost here, then he found 31.Qb3 Qxb3 32.Nxb3 Bxe3+ 33.Rxe3 Black has three pawns for the sacrificed knight a5 34.Rc7 a4 35.Nc5 Ra8 36.Nd7

Position after 36.Nd7

Gukesh blundered in time trouble 36...Kh7?? Instead, 36...b5 or Rd2+ would have continued the game.

Sometimes Chess is so painful | Video: ChessBase India
The most emotionally charged game of Candidates 2024 - Firouzja vs Gukesh, Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
Post-game Press Conference with Alireza Firouzja and D Gukesh | Video: FIDE

A tough loss for Gukesh
Post-game Press Conference with Hikaru Nakamura and Ian Nepomniachtchi | Video: FIDE

Hikaru Nakamura (USA) had an intriguing draw against Ian Nepomniachtchi
Was Vidit able to get his revenge? Nijat Abasov vs Vidit Gujrathi, Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
This is what makes Vidit Gujrathi special | Video: ChessBase India
Vidit Gujrathi: "Of course, I have to root for myself; that's a no-brainer." | Video: FIDE

Nijat Abasov (AZE) thwarted all potential attempts by Vidit Gujrathi

R Praggnanandhaa with his fans

R Praggnanandhaa signs an autograph

Time control

The time control for each game is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 41.


The total prize fund is €500000. The top three prizes are €48000, €36000 and €24000. All prize money shall be divided equally among the players with the equal score after 14 rounds regardless tie-break results. In addition, each player gets €3500 euros for every half point scored.

Replay Round 7 live stream

FIDE Candidates 2024 Round 7 Live Commentary by Amruta Mokal and IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 7 games

Round 7 results

Round 7 results | Photo: FIDE


Standings after Round 7

Standings after Round 7 | Photo: FIDE


Round 8 pairings

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMPraggnanandhaa, RGMFirouzja, Alireza
GMVidit, Santosh GujrathiGMGukesh, D
GMNakamura, HikaruGMCaruana, Fabiano
GMNepomniachtchi, IanGMAbasov, Nijat



Official site

Tournament Regulations

Related news:
10 wonderful photos from the Candidates Chess Tournament 2024

@ 23/05/2024 by Sanket Nawle (en)
The Gukesh homecoming - A story about destiny

@ 26/04/2024 by Aditya Sur Roy (en)
10 reasons why Gukesh's triumph at FIDE Candidates 2024 is special

@ 23/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Zhongyi Tan convincingly clinches FIDE Women's Candidates 2024, Koneru Humpy second

@ 22/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
17-year-old Gukesh becomes the youngest ever to win FIDE Candidates 2024, creates history

@ 22/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R13: Vaishali topples Tingjie, wins four in-a-row

@ 21/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Gukesh scorches Firouzja, emerges sole leader, moves closer to winning Candidates 2024

@ 21/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R12: Vaishali scores a hat-trick of wins after losing four in-a-row

@ 19/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Candidates 2024 R12: Gukesh and Nakamura catch-up with Nepomniachtchi, make it a three-way lead

@ 19/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R11: Vaishali dashes Goryachkina's hopes

@ 18/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Candidates 2024 R11: Gukesh holds World no.2 Fabiano Caruana again, stays in the hunt

@ 18/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R10: Vaishali ends her losing streak by winning a rollercoaster game against Nurgyul

@ 16/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Candidates 2024 R10: Gukesh draws with Nepomniachtchi, both still in the lead

@ 16/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R9: Zhongyi Tan crushes Vaishali in 21 moves

@ 15/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Candidates 2024 R9: Vidit Gujrathi beats World no.3 Hikaru Nakamura for the second time in ten days

@ 15/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R8: Humpy victorious against Vaishali

@ 14/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Candidates 2024 R8: Gukesh hunts Vidit's king, rejoins the lead with Nepomniachtchi

@ 14/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R7: Zhongyi Tan maintains her sole lead

@ 12/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R6: A brutal round

@ 11/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Candidates 2024 R6: Gukesh defies Nakamura, maintains his lead with Nepomniachtchi

@ 11/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R5: Four draws

@ 10/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Candidates 2024 R5: Who dares wins

@ 10/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R4: Vaishali splits the point with Goryachkina

@ 08/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Candidates 2024 R4: Gukesh shows his grit against World no.2 Fabiano Caruana

@ 08/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R3: Vaishali bounces back against Nurgyul

@ 07/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Candidates 2024 R3: Praggnanandhaa's refreshing f5 takes Vidit by surprise

@ 07/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R2: Zhongyi Tan wins two in-a-row

@ 06/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Candidates 2024 R2: Praggnanandhaa implodes against Gukesh, Vidit blazes World no.3 Nakamura in 29 moves

@ 06/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Women's Candidates 2024 R1: Zhongyi Tan marches her king to victory

@ 05/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Candidates 2024 R1: Two exciting draws

@ 05/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024 opens in Toronto

@ 04/04/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
FIDE Candidates 2024: All set for the chess tournament of the year in Toronto

@ 30/03/2024 by ChessBase India (en)
FIDE Candidates 2024: Pairings announced

@ 04/03/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Five Indians in the Candidates 2024

@ 02/01/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Who has the best chance to make it to the Candidates via FIDE Circuit 2023?

@ 31/10/2023 by Prakhar Sinha (en)
Is an Indian confirmed to play at the FIDE Candidates 2024?

@ 14/08/2023 by Sagar Shah (en)
FIDE reforms the qualifications paths to the Candidates Tournament

@ 17/12/2022 by ChessBase India (en)

Contact Us