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Gukesh defeated Carlsen in Freestyle Chess and is now tied for second place after the first day

Gukesh defeated Carlsen in Freestyle Chess and is now tied for second place after the first day

At the Weissenhaus Chess Challenge in Wangels, Germany, Grandmaster D Gukesh made a remarkable start by defeating World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Levon Aronian of Armenia, and reigning world champion Ding Liren of China on the first day.

Despite a slow start that cost him a full point in the opener against Alireza Firouza of France, Gukesh bounced back strongly, securing three points out of a possible four by the end of the day. This puts him in joint second place in the rapid section, behind Vincent Keymer of Germany, who leads with 3.5 points.

Nodirbek Abdusattarov also ended the day with three points, matching Gukesh’s performance. In contrast, Carlsen, Firouza, and Fabiano Caruana of the United States are in joint fourth place with two points each. Surprisingly, Ding Liren is at the bottom of the standings after losing all four games.

The rapid format of the tournament is designed to determine the pairings for the knockout stage among the eight players. The player finishing first will face the player finishing last in the knockout stage.

Gukesh’s highlight of the day was his victory over Carlsen. In a complicated endgame arising from freestyle chess, Gukesh took his chances and capitalized on Carlsen’s inaccuracies to secure the win.

In the third round, Gukesh faced a tough test from Aronian but managed to outplay him in just 39 moves, eventually winning a piece and the game. Against Ding Liren, Gukesh displayed his technical prowess by sacrificing a rook for a minor piece early in the game, leading to a decisive advantage and a victory in 37 moves.

Looking ahead, with three rounds remaining in the rapid section, the pairings for the quarterfinals are yet to be determined. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and finale will be played under standard time control rules, with each player having 90 minutes for the first forty moves and 30 minutes to finish the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move one.

The knockout stage will consist of two standard games per round, with tiebreaks played if necessary to determine the winner.

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