Showcasing great gameplay, Gukesh not only extended his unbeaten run in the prestigious event but also helped India B register an impressive victory against the fourth-seeded Spain-team’s fifth consecutive win in the open section.
This was Gukesh’s fifth consecutive win in this event. Incidentally, after this win, he overtook Vidit Gujrati in live ratings to become the third highest rated player in India behind Viswanathan Anand and Pentala Harikrishna.
Gukesh said after the match, “After one of his errors I found a good position and slowly beat him. It is a pleasure to play a player of Shirov’s caliber and it is special to beat him.”
The game coincidentally was an Old Sicilian one where Shirov tried an unorthodox ninth trick. Gukesh was quick and started pressing for victory by blunting Shirov’s pieces. Their king personally escorted one of his pawns to Queening Square with the help of his two rooks, forcing Shirov to resign on the 44th turn to a position that was beyond repair.
“My strategy was to provoke him and being an aggressive player, he couldn’t resist the offensive moves that I expected. There were a lot of checking patterns later in the game,” Gukesh said.
Adhiban B was also in good shape, beating GM Eduardo Iturizaga in a strategic master piece, while Nihal Sarin held Anton Guizer to a draw.
India A and India C also registered similar victories in other open section matches against Romania and Croatia respectively.
Meanwhile, in the women’s section, India A also registered a fifth consecutive win with Tania Sachdev bringing up the winning points for their team once again. They beat France 2.5-1.5 after the match between Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli Harika and R Vaishali.
On the other hand, Indian women’s B team lost to Georgia 0-3, while team C held Brazil to a 2-2 draw.
In the Queen’s Gambit Declined game, Sachdev was forced to play on the queen-side where his pieces controlled the board. After winning a pawn, he pushed it to sixth place. Subsequently, queens were forcibly exchanged by Sachdev and he ended the game with a neat tactical stroke at the 56th turn.
Harika and Sophie Millet made a settlement after 40 moves in a similar position.
Team USA, trying to get back on track by winning a draw against Uzbekistan in the final round, finished 2.5–1. 5 wins against Israel thanks to a determined linear Dominguez Pérez after Wesley So and Levon Aronian drew relatively early, and Fabiano Caruana’s best efforts were nullified.
However, England suffered a 1.5–2.5 defeat against Armenia in another open section fifth round match.
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