FIDE World Cup: Praggnanandhaa nails Navara; Vaishali, Mary, Divya lose

R. Praggnanandhaa brought smiles in the Indian camp with a well-executed victorious plan after defeats of sister R. Vaishali, Mary Ann Gomes and Divya Deshpande to higher-rated players dampened the spirits during the first game of the third round of FIDE World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Saturday.

In a match featuring two evenly-matched rivals, Praggnanandhaa outplayed David Navara in 60 moves to emerge as the only Indian winner of the day.

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All other games featuring Indians in the Open section ended in draws. Facing Germany’s Matthias Bluebaum, Vidit Gujrathi came close to a win but tossed away a sizable advantage on the 54th turn and eventually drew in 81 moves. The shadow boxing featuring D. Gukesh and S. L. Narayanan ended in just 30 moves without living up to the pre-game expectation.

The results (involving Indians):
Round Three:

Open: S. L. Narayanan (2656) drew with D. Gukesh (2744); Matthias Bluebaum (Ger, 2672) drew with Vidit Gujrathi (2719); Bogdan-Daniel Deac (Rom, 2693) drew with Nihal Sarin (2688); Arjun Erigaisi (2710) drew with Vladimir Fedoseev (Slo, 2676); R. Praggnanandhaa (2690) bt David Navara (Cze, 2689).

Women: Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr, 2511) bt R. Vaishali (2431); Mary Ann Gomes (2326) lost to Nurgyul Salimova (Bul, 2409); Olga Badelka (FIDE, 2397) drew with K. Humpy (2553); D. Harika (2500) drew with Lela Javakhishvili (Geo, 2439); Aleksandra Goryachkina (FIDE, 2557) bt Divya Deshmukh (2400).

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