Prague Chess Festival | Gujrathi keeps lead despite loss

Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi suffered a defeat at the hands of Czech GM David Navara in the eighth round of the Prague Chess Festival’s Masters category but still remained on top of the standings. He has five points to his kitty and is ahead of Russian Nikita Vitiugov, David Anton Guijjaro and the world’s top junior player Alireza Firouzja, all on 4.5 points.

Gujrathi, the Indian No. 2, lost the eighth round game late on Thursday in a West Indian opening in 64 moves after coming under time pressure.

He meets top seed Jan-Krzystof Duda of Poland in the final round and will aim for a victory to seal the title after having finished second in the 2019 edition.

P. Harikrishna, the other Indian in the 10-player field, was held to a draw by Austrian Markus Ragger in 35 moves as his quest for a win continued.

It was the Indian No. 3 player’s seventh draw in the tournament against one loss. He lies in ninth spot with three points and faces Navara in the final round later on Friday.

In other games, Iran’s Alireza Firouzja, the world’s top junior, shared a point with American Sam Shankland in 57 moves.

Vitiugov, the defending champion, and Duda played out a 69-move marathon before signing peace.

The results (eighth round): David Navara (Cze) 4 bt Vidit Gujrathi 5; P. Harikrishna 3.5 drew with Markus Ragger (Aut) 3.5; David Anton Guijjaro (Spa) 4.5 bt Nils Grandelius (Swe) 2.5.

Nikita Vitiugov (Rus) 4.5 drew with Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Pol) 4; Alirez Firouzja (Irn) 4.5 drew with Sam Shankland (USA) 4.

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