A great result by India 1 catching up with India 2 in second place. But a very tough day at the office for India 2. Gukesh had a completely won position, but somehow, the conversion dragged on and is usually a bad sign when you’re unable to convert.
Gukesh outplayed Abdusattorov with the greatest of ease, and everyone was very impressed with his play. I mean, his level of play in this tournament and particularly today, was especially impressive.
Abdusattorov defended tenaciously. I mean, sometimes you have to finish and convert but Gukesh somehow kept missing this moment.
Point of no return
Then came a certain point where Gukesh simply misplayed everything, and then could have played for a draw. I was really hoping that he would make a draw here, because it’s a well known phenomenon that when you cross this bridge, there’s a point of no return.
Especially if you have been winning before, you don’t want to accept that events have changed. I have suffered in this situation myself many times.
So, I was really hoping that Gukesh would know how to stop and just make a draw, especially since Praggnanandhaa was already winning.
I don’t even think Gukesh necessarily played for a win or a draw. He just kept going on autopilot. This is typical because he’s still in the mentality of ‘I should be winning this’ and he has not let go mentally.
He has not had time to adjust. And finally, the tragedy happened. And when you’re not thinking straight when you are as tired as he is, the result could get tough.
You have to give full credit to Abdusattorov that in a completely hopeless position, he was still able to make moves. I mean, without collapsing you keep making moves, and you keep not losing. I mean, this is not stuff of beauty but this is how you win games.
In the Open section, Harikrishna escaped the worst and then seemed to drop back into trouble. Vidit played a fantastic game today and since SL Narayanan was already in a very good situation, India clinched this one.
Leaders Armenia and Uzbekistan, having already faced each other, will battle for the first place against other contenders. For women, a very good result of India 1 shows Tania’s exceptional play.
She is really the superstar in that team. Great performance by Humpy and Bhakti today.
So that’s an extremely good result. I think since Poland has a better tiebreaker, there is still some intrigue there but everything again comes down to the last day.