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Chess World Cup: Gukesh Loses Out to Carlsen, Pragg and Arjun Fight for History

Chess World Cup 2023: R Praggnanandhaa and Arjun Erigaisi will be competing in tie-breaks for a semi-final spot.

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D Gukesh’s dream run in the 2023 FIDE Chess World Cup came to a conclusion on Wednesday, 16 August, as the number one ranked Indian Grandmaster suffered a defeat against Magnus Carlsen.

Having beaten Gukesh with black pieces in the first game, the five-time World Champion drew the second game to win the tie 1.5-0.5. He will now be facing Azerbaijan’s Nijat Abasov in the semi-finals.

Abasov, who has had an exemplary run in this competition so far, got the better of another Indian GM in Vidit Gujrathi, in his quarter-final match. The first game saw Vidit drawing with white pieces, before Abasov won with white.

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Gukesh and Vidit were two of the four Indians in the men’s quarter-finals, with Arjun Erigaisi and Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa competing in what has been an exciting tie so far.

Arjun stunned his childhood friend with a victory with white pieces in the first game on Tuesday, 15 August, before the 18-year-old launched a retaliation by winning with white on Wednesday. The pair will now compete in tie-breaks in the rapid format.

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Arjun, Praggnanandhaa Fighting for Candidates Qualification As Carlsen Clarifies Stance

The winner of the tie between Arjun and Praggnanandhaa will face the reigning US Chess Championship winner, Fabiano Caruana, in the semi-final. Keeping that aspect aside, the pair are also standing on the verge of making history.

The winner of this match is almost certain to compete in 2024’s Candidates Tournament, which will be played in April, at Toronto. Whilst the rules state that the top three finishers will qualify for the Candidates Tournament, Carlsen has stated he will not be competing in the tournament in Canada.

“Everybody should operate under the assumption that I will not play the Candidates (Tournament), and that everybody else who's in the semifinals is qualified for the Candidates,” he said.

With Carlsen distancing himself from the competition, the winner of the match between Arjun and Praggnanandhaa will earn an automatic qualification. So far, Viswanathan Anand remains the only Indian to have featured in the Candidates Tournament.

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Topics:  chess   R Praggnanandhaa   D Gukesh 

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