Wijk aan Zee tournament: Carlsen still far from the leader after his draw with 16-year-old Gukesh | Chess News

Magnus Carlsen returned to the hotel on Tuesday afternoon annoyed because he failed to defeat the 16-year-old Indian Dommaraju Gukesh with the white pieces. The leader, Nodirbek Abdusattórov, 18, remains so after suffering for seven hours against the last man, the German Vincent Keymer. The Uzbek now leads the Dutchman Anish Giri by half a point, the American Wesley So by one and the Norwegian by one and a half with four rounds to go.

Gukesh stunned the chess world six months ago in Chennai, India, when he won the first eight games of the Chess Olympiad, almost all against tough opponents. He then had other positive performances but, for unexplained reasons, since October he has lost some 20 points on the world list; half of them in Wijk aan Zee.

However, no one doubts his tremendous talent and potential, because in the history of chess there are very few 16-year-old players who have reached that high (29th in the world after today’s draw). Furthermore, today he confirmed that his knowledge of the openings is very deep because he achieved a balanced position in the black pieces in a rather sharp variation. Carlsen pushed him as hard as he could, but the young Indian found a way to salvage half a point without ever coming close to defeat.

Abdusattórov cannot affirm the same because he was lost many times throughout the almost seven hours of the fight with Keymer, although it is also true that he managed to save himself several times, and in the end he succeeded due to the lack of technical precision of the young German. Everything indicates that the Uzbek is beginning to show the fatigue accumulated in a very demanding tournament, in which there are no easy games.

His next rival is, in theory, very tough, but the Chinese Liren Ding, 2nd in the world, seems to have his head (and the secret openings) in the World Cup in April against the Russian Ian Niepómniashi and not this Roland Garros of chess; today he suffered from the beginning, with white, against Giri, until he ended up defeated. It seemed that the same thing was going to happen to the Iranian Parham Maghsoodloo against So but, once again, the American (8th in the world right now) showed that lack of murderous instinct that prevents you from being even higher.

Round nine: Maghsoodloo – So, tables; Carlsen–Gukesh, draws; Praggnanandhaa – Caruana, draws; Erigaisi-Rapport, 0-1; Aronian – Van Foreest, draws; Keymer – Abdusattorov, draws; Ding–Giri, 0-1.

Classification: 1st Abdusattórov 6.5; 2nd Giri 6; 3rd So 5.5; 4th-7th Praggnanandhaa, Carlsen, Caruana and Aronian 5; 8th Report 4.5; 9th-10th Ding and Maghsoodloo 4; 11th Van Forest 3.5; 12th-14th Erigaisi, Gukesh and Keymer 3.

Tenth round (Wednesday, 2:00 p.m.): So-Giri; Abdusattorov-Ding; Van Forest–Keymer; Rapport – Aronian; Caruana-Erigaisi; Gukesh-Praggnanandhaa; Maghsoodloo–Carlsen.

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