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Candidates 2024 R8: Gukesh hunts Vidit's king, rejoins the lead with Nepomniachtchi

by Shahid Ahmed - 14/04/2024

D Gukesh made a strong comeback in the eighth round of FIDE Candidates 2024. He outplayed compatriot Vidit Gujrathi, hunted his opponent's king and he had to resign before getting checkmated. The teenager claimed the control of a-file after Vidit gave it up. He invaded with his queen and rook in the backrank, when Vidit went for a desperate break. Gukesh is now in the lead with Ian Nepomniachtchi scoring 5/8 each. Fabiano Caruana (USA) blundered in time trouble in an already unpleasant position against Hikaru Nakamura (USA). R Praggnanandhaa drew with Alireza Firouzja (FRA). Both Nakamura and Praggnanandhaa are trailing the leaders by a half point at 4.5/8 each. Round 9 starts today at 2:30 p.m. local time, 12 a.m. IST. Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Gukesh bounces back strong

D Gukesh scored his third win which is the highest of the tournament so far. He will face his coleader Ian Nepomniachtchi in Round 10.

D Gukesh bounced back with an emphatic win to rejoin the lead | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Vidit - Gukesh: 0-1

A little over a week ago, D Gukesh (2743) and Vidit Gujrathi (2727) had a 21-move draw. Nine days later, Gukesh opts for the Two-Knights' Defence which transposes into a Giuco Piano/Italian opening. In the middlegame, Vidit decides to give up the control of the a-file. Gukesh claims it and builds on it.

Position after 25...Kf8

25...Kf8 is a necessity as it prevents Ne7-c6 maneuver. 26.Ref1 Ra1 27.Qd3 Qb4 28.Rxa1 Rxa1 29.c5?

Position after 29.c5?

29.c5? break does not help White. In fact it worsens things in a hurry 29...bxc5 30.Nc4?? Qe1 the king hunt begins 31.Re2 Qg1+ 32.Kg3 Nh5+ 33.Kh4 Ndf6 and the white fell into mating net.

Gukesh drags Vidit's king out in the open and checkmates it - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
The complete Behind the Scenes Footage of Gukesh beating Vidit and joining Nepo in the lead - Vlog | Video: ChessBase India
Post-game Press Conference with Gukesh | Video: FIDE

D Gukesh scored a smooth win over Vidit Gujrathi | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza
Praggnanandhaa's new opening idea in Sicilian Taimanov against Firouzja | Video: ChessBase India

R Praggnanandhaa - Alireza Firouzja (FRA): 0.5-0.5 | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Nakamura - Caruana: 1-0

The first game between Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2803) and Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 2789) had ended in a draw. It was an exciting game which is the usual case whenever they face each other. In the second game, Nakamura was having a positional advantage for quite some time and then Caruana blundered in time trouble.

Position after 33...b5??

34.Ne7+ Kh8 35.Nd5 and it's over. Black cannot avoid material loss.

Brilliant and Brillianter | Video: GMHikaru
When Nakamura crushed Caruana - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
Post-game Press Conference with Hikaru Nakamura | Video: FIDE

Fabiano Caruana (USA) crumbled under time trouble against Hikaru Nakamura (USA) | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Ian Nepomniachtchi drew with... | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

...Nijat Abasov (AZE) | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Photo Gallery

Spectators watching the games

D Gukesh, Nijat Abasov (AZE) and Sagar Shah with their fans | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza
Gukesh enters into an exclusive sponsorship agreement with WestBridge Capital for 5 years | Video: ChessBase India
The People's Champion - Hikaru Nakamura | Video: ChessBase India

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 8 live stream

FIDE Candidates 2024 Round 8 Live Commentary by Amruta Mokal, IM Sagar Shah, GM Abhimanyu Puranik and GM Harshit Raja | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 8 games

Round 8 results

Round 8 results | Photo: FIDE


Standings after Round 8

Standings after Round 8 | Photo: FIDE


Round 9 pairings

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMVidit, Santosh GujrathiGMNakamura, Hikaru
GMGukesh, DGMPraggnanandhaa, R
GMFirouzja, AlirezaGMNepomniachtchi, Ian
GMAbasov, NijatGMCaruana, Fabiano



Official site

Tournament Regulations

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