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Prague Masters: Praggnanandhaa to meet Abdusattarov, Gukesh up against Bartel

Sitting at tied fourth, Grandmasters R Praggnanandhaa and D Gukesh will have some catching up to do if they want to finish on the podium with four rounds remaining in the ongoing Prague Masters Chess tournament here.

Praggnanandhaa and Gukesh share the fourth spot, and the next round will be crucial for them both as ‘Pragg’, as he is fondly called, takes on leader Nodirbek Abdusattarov and Gukesh is up against tailender Mateusz Bartel of Poland.

A win for both will certainly spice up the tournament, and Gukesh definitely has an edge against Bartel, who is languishing at the last spot.

After five rounds of play, Abdusattarov of Uzbekistan is enjoying his new status of being world number five, cashing in on his luck and skillset at the same time.

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The Uzbek is in sole lead on four points out of a possible five, and it remains to be seen if he loses steam in the last four remaining rounds.

Parham Maghsoodloo got here backed by some brilliant results, and he justified his billing by winning the first two rounds including the one against Praggnanandhaa.

However, it has been a safe ride since then, and Maghsoodloo needs to score better to stake his claim for the first prize.

Richard Rapport Stands third at this juncture with his uncanny style on three points out of five rounds, and the Hungarian-turned-Romanian will wait for his chances that he creates himself.

The other Indian in the fray, Vidit Gujrathi started off with four draws in the first four games but then lost to Praggnanandhaa which cost him dearly. The Nasik-based has a lot of ground to cover, but he is known to peak towards the end of the tournament.

Meanwhile Arjun Erigaise, yet again gained the number one ranking amongst Indians, surpassing Viswanathan Anand for the second time in three days.

The Indian is leading at the Shenzen Masters in China. Arjun also entered the tenth spot in the world live ranking for the first time.


Pairings round 6 (Indians unless stated): Nodirbek Abdusattarov (Uzb, 4) vs R Praggnanandhaa (2.5); Vidit Gujrathi (2) vs Vincent Keymer (Ger, 2); Nguyen Thai Dai Van (Cze, 2) vs Parham Maghsoodloo (Iri, 3.5) David Navara (Cze, 2.5) vs Richard Rapport (Rou, 3); D Gukesh (2.5) vs Mateusz Bartel (Pol, 1).

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