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Gelfand Challenge Day 3: Keymer takes sole lead, Praggnanandhaa still in the hunt

by Shahid Ahmed - 13/06/2021

After Praggnanandhaa, it was Nihal's turn to score all five victories in Day 3 of Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour - Gelfand Challenge. Nihal beat Mammadzada, Saduakassova, Yoo, Gukesh and Badelka. He finished the day with 10.0/15, tied at the fourth place with Gukesh. Praggnanandhaa's seven-game win streak came to an end in Round 12 as he lost to Abdumalik. He is just a half point behind the sole leader Keymer. Leon is at 8.0/10. Anything can happen on the final day as the last four round starts with Round 16 from 6:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Team Kramnik - Team Polgar: 73-77

Praggnanandhaa's seven-game winning streak came to an end as he lost to Kazakhstan's latest GM Zhansaya Abdumalik. He finished the day with 11.5/15, a half point behind the sole leader of the event Vincent Keymer. Nihal Sarin had a fantastic day as he won all five of his games and moved to shared fourth position with Gukesh 10.0/15.

Vincent Keymer has taken sole lead 12.0/15 | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Round 11: Pragg, Nihal and Leon win

Day 2 started well for the Indian kids as Praggnanandhaa, Nihal and Leon won their respective games. Only Gukesh lost.

Tingjie - Praggnanandhaa: 0-1

Tingjie made a big positional mistake when her position was good.

Position after 24.Qc3

White had to play 24.Qc1 to maintain the advantage and stay away from trouble. 24.Qc3 invited trouble as Black gets decisive advantage after 24...Rg1.

Abdumalik - Leon: 0-1

Leon got a fantastic position early in the middlegame after his opponent Abdumalik made a series of incorrect decisions.

Position after 13...Bh3

White needed to trade the rooks by initiating a change exchange 14.Bxa8 Bxf1 15.Kxf1 Rxa8 and things would not have been that bad. However, 14.Re1 Rab8 15.Rxe5 Ng4, it became very difficult for White to make a comeback as white is lacking in development and the pieces are not well coordinated either. Leon converted his advantage into a victory with a cute finish.

Position after 34.Nb3

Find out the winning combination for black in the above diagram.

Mammadzada - Nihal: 0-1

Mammadzada made a questionable pawn capture which allowed Nihal to gain the upper hand.

Position after 25.Bxh4

White needed to defend the f4-pawn either with 25.Ne5+ or Qe3.

Position after 31.Re3

White had to make sure that black rooks do not gain the control of the e-file. So 31.Re5 was the need of the hour, not 31.Re3 which allowed Black to gain a huge advantage with 31...Re4. Nihal converted his advantage into a victory without much difficulty.

Gukesh - Murzin : 0-1

Gukesh's overstretched pawns created weakness all over the board. IM Volodar Murzin capitalized on them in the endgame.

Round 12: Gukesh beat Abdusattorov

Gukesh and Nihal won, Leon drew and Praggnanandhaa lost.

Abdusattorov - Gukesh: 0-1

Gukesh persevered a difficult position against Abdusattorov.

Position after 26...Kh8

White should have played 27.c4 here instead of 27.g5 which allowed Black to get back in the game 27...Rf8.

Position after 35.e7

Find out the immediate win for black in the above diagram. The game got prolonged as Black played 35...Qg6+.

Nihal - Saduakassova: 1-0

Nihal got a fantastic position out of the opening as his opponent Saduakassova chose a passive structure.

Position after 14...f5

Black is attempting to regain control with 14...f5. Find out how should white respond here.

Position after 31...c5

Find out the winning continuation for white in the above diagram.

Mendonca - Shuvalova: 0.5-0.5

Leon had a roller-coaster of a draw against IM Polina Shuvalova. Despite being in trouble, Leon managed to endure and salvage a draw.

Position after 45...Bd6

One of the best chances White had in the later part of the endgame was in the above diagram. 46.gxf4 gxf4 47.exf4 could have put Black in some serious trouble.

Praggnanandhaa - Abdumalik: 0-1

GM Zhansaya Abdumalik ended Pragg's seven-game unbeaten streak. He got a better position out of the opening and missed quite an easy win.

Position after 28...Rg6

Find out the winning continuation for White in the above diagram. The game went on 29.Rc1 which is obviously not the best move. White was winning in thousand different ways but he had a lapse in concentration and blundered his queen which became a point of no return.

A crazy line in the Queen's Gambit Accepted (QGA) | Video: Sagar Shah

Round 13: Victory for all

For the first time in this event, all four Indian kids - Praggnanandhaa, Leon, Nihal and Gukesh scored a victory each in the same round.

Shuvalova - Praggnanandhaa: 0-1

Praggnanandhaa made a beautiful combination to gain the upper hand and beat IM Polina Shuvalova.

Position after 33.Rc1

Find out the best continuation for black.

Mammadzada - Leon: 0-1

Mammadzada made an incorrect choice of letting go of the important pawn, resulting in Leon grabbing the advantage and eventually score a win.

Position after 33...Rff4

Which pawn white should save here - e4 or h4? Find out why.

Yoo - Nihal: 0-1

IM Christopher Yoo made a bad decision of going for a chain exchange which gave Nihal the decisive advantage.

Position after 19.Qb1

19.Ne4 would have been a better continuation for White. Find out why 19.Qb1 is a mistake.

Gukesh - Yip: 1-0

Gukesh beat IM Carissa Yip after the latter blundered her queen in a seemingly equal position.

Round 14: Nihal beat Gukesh

Nihal scored a win against Gukesh. Leon and Pragg also scored a victory each.

Nihal - Gukesh: 1-0

Gukesh went to capture a poisoned pawn in the endgame while his king and rook were vulnerable.

Position after 28...Qxa2

28...Qxa2 is a big mistake. Find out why. Black needed to play 28...d4 to make sure the queen is ready to come to aid of the black's kingside. Nihal scored his fourth consecutive victory of the day.

Nihal Sarin vs Gukesh | Clash of ideas in the Sicilian Alapin | Video: Sagar Shah

Leon - Saduakassova: 1-0

Saduakassova played the rook and minor piece endgame incorrectly which cost her a valuable time.

Position after 32...Rb6

32...Rb6 is a strange retreat as g6 idea is not so great for Black. Instead 32...c4 and giving away the c-pawn for White's h-pawn would have made things easier for Black.

Praggnanandhaa - Mammadzada: 1-0

Mammadzada's incorrect decision to save her pawn in the endgame spiralled things out of control.

Position after 20...b5

20...b5 mistake could have been avoided. 20...Qc7 would have kept things going. After 21.Qb7 Ba3 22.Qxa6 b4 23.Qd6 Qxa2, it is safe to say that black is completely lost now because both queen and bishop are out of action.

Round 15: Gukesh and Nihal won

Gukesh and Nihal ended the Day 3 with a victory each. Pragg made a draw and Leon lost.

Saduakassova - Praggnanandhaa: 0.5-0.5

IM Dinara Saduakassova made a solid draw with Pragg.

Yoo - Leon: 1-0

Yoo made a wonderful combination to win against Leon.

Position after 27...Kh7

Find out the winning continuation for White in the above diagram.

Gukesh - Jiner: 1-0

Gukesh beat WGM Zhu Jiner with ease.

Badelka - Nihal: 0-1

Nihal scored his fifth consecutive victory of the day, against IM Olga Badelka.

Replay Round 11-15 games

Replay the live stream

Gelfand Challenge Day 3 | Challengers Chess Tour Live Commentary | Video: ChessBase India

Round 11-15 results

Round 11 on 2021/06/12 at 15:00
Bo.No.GrRtg NameResultName GrRtgNo.
GMBjerre Jonas Buhl0 - 1GMKeymer Vincent
GMLei Tingjie0 - 1GMPraggnanandhaa R
IMAbdumalik Zhansaya0 - 1IMMendonca Leon Luke
IMShuvalova Polina1 - 0WGMZhu Jiner
IMMammadzada Gunay0 - 1GMNihal Sarin
IMSaduakassova Dinara1 - 0IMYip Carissa
IMYoo Christopher Woojin1 - 0GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek
GMGukesh D0 - 1IMMurzin Volodar
IMBadelka Olga½ - ½IMKhademalsharieh Sarasadat
IMSalimova Nurgyul0 - 1GMLiang Awonder
Round 12 on 2021/06/12 at 15:45
Bo.No.GrRtg NameResultName GrRtgNo.
GMKeymer Vincent1 - 0GMLiang Awonder
IMKhademalsharieh Sarasadat1 - 0IMSalimova Nurgyul
IMMurzin Volodar1 - 0IMBadelka Olga
GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek0 - 1GMGukesh D
IMYip Carissa0 - 1IMYoo Christopher Woojin
GMNihal Sarin1 - 0IMSaduakassova Dinara
WGMZhu Jiner1 - 0IMMammadzada Gunay
IMMendonca Leon Luke½ - ½IMShuvalova Polina
GMPraggnanandhaa R0 - 1IMAbdumalik Zhansaya
GMBjerre Jonas Buhl0 - 1GMLei Tingjie
Round 13 on 2021/06/12 at 16:30
Bo.No.GrRtg NameResultName GrRtgNo.
GMLei Tingjie0 - 1GMKeymer Vincent
IMAbdumalik Zhansaya0 - 1GMBjerre Jonas Buhl
IMShuvalova Polina0 - 1GMPraggnanandhaa R
IMMammadzada Gunay0 - 1IMMendonca Leon Luke
IMSaduakassova Dinara0 - 1WGMZhu Jiner
IMYoo Christopher Woojin0 - 1GMNihal Sarin
GMGukesh D1 - 0IMYip Carissa
IMBadelka Olga0 - 1GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek
IMSalimova Nurgyul½ - ½IMMurzin Volodar
GMLiang Awonder1 - 0IMKhademalsharieh Sarasadat
Round 14 on 2021/06/12 at 17:15
Bo.No.GrRtg NameResultName GrRtgNo.
GMKeymer Vincent1 - 0IMKhademalsharieh Sarasadat
IMMurzin Volodar1 - 0GMLiang Awonder
GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek0 - 1IMSalimova Nurgyul
IMYip Carissa1 - 0IMBadelka Olga
GMNihal Sarin1 - 0GMGukesh D
WGMZhu Jiner0 - 1IMYoo Christopher Woojin
IMMendonca Leon Luke1 - 0IMSaduakassova Dinara
GMPraggnanandhaa R1 - 0IMMammadzada Gunay
GMBjerre Jonas Buhl1 - 0IMShuvalova Polina
GMLei Tingjie1 - 0IMAbdumalik Zhansaya
Round 15 on 2021/06/12 at 18:00
Bo.No.GrRtg NameResultName GrRtgNo.
IMAbdumalik Zhansaya0 - 1GMKeymer Vincent
IMShuvalova Polina½ - ½GMLei Tingjie
IMMammadzada Gunay½ - ½GMBjerre Jonas Buhl
IMSaduakassova Dinara½ - ½GMPraggnanandhaa R
IMYoo Christopher Woojin1 - 0IMMendonca Leon Luke
GMGukesh D1 - 0WGMZhu Jiner
IMBadelka Olga0 - 1GMNihal Sarin
IMSalimova Nurgyul1 - 0IMYip Carissa
GMLiang Awonder½ - ½GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek
IMKhademalsharieh Sarasadat1 - 0IMMurzin Volodar

Standings after Round 15

Keymer has taken sole lead, Pragg is just a half point behind | Photo: Champions Chess Tour


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