Sterling display by Gukesh; Humpy lets off Kosteniuk
Dethroned champion Magnus Carlsen’s tongue-lashing of World Chess Federation (FIDE) over the “completely idiotic” tie-break rules to decide the World rapid chess title could not take away the sheen from 17-year-old Uzbek Nodirbek Abdusattorov’s sensational title-triumph at Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday.
The youngster, seeded 59th, shocked overnight leader Carlsen and went on to stun Ian Nepomniachtchi 1.5-0.5 in the blitz tie-breaker to emerge as the champion.
The drama began following a four-way tie for the title after 13 rounds. Adbusattorov, Nepomniachtchi, Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana tallied 9.5 points but the championship rules allowed for a playoff involving only the top-two players.
Later, Carlsen acknowledged the youngest champion in the history of the competition by stating, “Squabbles about the rules aside, what an absolutely incredible achievement!”
After all, the young Uzbek’s victims included Caruana, Levon Aronian, Boris Gelfand, Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Carlsen, in successive rounds.
Among the Indians, D. Gukesh came up with a sterling performance to tie for the fifth spot before finishing ninth, at nine points.
Rated 2050, Gukesh performed at a phenomenal 2753 by beating Gelfand, Jobava Baadur before missing a certain win in the drawn game against Abdusattorov and letting Alexander Grischuk off the hook.
Similarly, in the women’s section, K. Humpy let champion Alexenda Kosteniuk escape with a draw in the ninth round and eventually finished sixth.
Indians’ final standings:
Open (from 13 rounds): 9. D. Gukesh (9 points), 15. Mitrabha Guha (8.5), 45. Vidit Gujrathi, 55. Abhimanyu Puranik (7.5 each), 60. Harsha Bharathakoti, 64. S. L. Narayanan, 65. Nihal Sarin, 70. Sankalp Gupta (7 each), 99. P. Harikrishna (6.5), 110. Arjun Erigaisi (6), 127. Raunak Sadhwani (5.5) and 164. Aditya Mittal (4).
Women (from 11 rounds): 6. K. Humpy (7.5), 14. R. Vaishali (7), 38. Vantika Agrawal (6) and 49. Padmini Rout (5.5).
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