Gukesh and Tan Zhongyi to challenge world champions

by clement

04/22/2024 – After a final round that lived up to all its promises in terms of unbearable suspense – not least due to the phenomenal game between Caruana and Nepomniachtchi – the tournament’s youngest player came out on top alone and will face the – fragile – world champion Ding Liren, who will put his crown back on the line at the end of the year! Gukesh had already demonstrated extraordinary potential at the Chennai Olympics, although he unfortunately overstepped the mark at the crucial moment. Nepo, the “specialist” of the Candidates Tournament with two victories in recent editions, finished in 3rd place, unbeaten in 14 rounds. Nakamura is ahead of him by virtue of a greater number of victories, and will be in the running if the reigning world champion departs. The Russian will regret having had to face Abasov too early in the tournament, before he was definitively “down”, drawing only twice against the Azeri, whereas Gukesh had a full house. Caruana finished in 4th place; had he been at his best in Toronto, he could have won the tournament, given the number of chances he squandered – the one in the last round being the emblem. Last but not least, the man who used Coubertin-esque means to rob Wesley So of his position as Candidate was extremely disappointing, being more conspicuous for his new recriminations against the referees than for his dazzling moves on the chessboard – Firouzja thus finished in penultimate place, losing 23 Elo points in the process. | In the ladies’ category, Tan Zhongyi was able to play it safe in the last two rounds, when her last rival and compatriot Lei Tingjie completely collapsed. Tan Zhongyi will therefore be the challenger to reigning champion Ju Wenjun. The two Chinese women will play the rematch of 2018Photo: Mihal Walusza (FIDE).

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