Tata Steel Chess Masters: Vidit Gujrathi holds Carlsen to draw, Praggnanandhaa loses to Caruana

Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi held world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen to a draw in the 11th round of the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament to jointly occupy the fourth place with six points.

R Praggnanandhaa, the other Indian in the fray, lost to American Fabiano Caruana to remain on 3.5 points and in joint 12th place with two others.

Carlsen (7.5 points) preserved his leading position despite missing a clear win against Gujrathi.

Dutchman Anish Giri suffered a painful defeat at the hands of his compatriot Jorden Van Foreest and slid to the third position while Richard Rapport moved to second place in the current standings after getting a win by forfeit over Daniil Dubov.

The Russian GM had to drop out of the event after testing positive for COVID-19.

Carlsen tried the Italian Game with Nc3 against Gujrathi, but the Indian GM passed the test and reached equality.

However, the world champion found a way to pose some problems for his opponent and after Gujrathi’s mistake on move 28, won a rook endgame. But an error by the Norwegian on the 36th move allowed the Indian to escape with a draw.

Teenaged GM Praggnanandhaa and Caruana manoeuvred for a while in a roughly equal position before the American seized the initiative and got a win in 46 moves.

Two more rounds remain to be played in the prestigious tournament.

In the Challengers event being held simultaneously, India’s Arjun Erigaisi was in sole lead with nine points, one and a half points ahead of his nearest rival, Thai Dai Van Nguyen of Czech Republic.

In the 11th round, the 18-year old Erigaisi settled for a draw against Erwin L’Ami of the Netherlands in a 23-move game.

Erigaisi’s compatriot Surya Shekhar Ganguly drew with Woman International Master Polina Shuvalova (Russia) to take his tally to 5.5 points. He was joint sixth with three others.

Standings after Round 11: Masters

1. Magnus Carlsen 7.5 points; 2. Richard Rapport 7; 3-4. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Anish Giri 6.5; 5-8. Vidit Gujrathi, Sergey Karjakin, Andrey Esipenko and Fabiano Caruana 6; 9. Jorden Van Foreest 5.5; 10. Jan-Krzysztof Duda 5; 11. Sam Shankland 4.5; 12-14. Nils Grandelius, Praggnanandhaa and Daniil Dubov 3.5.