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Gukesh loses three rounds, finishes sixth in Play-offs

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Wangels (Germany) Feb 11 (PTI) India's Grandmaster D Gukesh had to be content with a sixth place finish in the rapid play-offs of the Weissenhaus Freestyle Chess challenge after losing the last three rounds here.

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Nodirbek Abdusattarov of Uzbekistan dominated the rapid event that was mainly done to determine the pairings for the knockout stage.

The young Uzbek ended with an impressive 5.5 points out of a possible seven and finished a half point clear of Vincent Keymer of Germany.

Fabiano American Levon Aronian ended seventh ahead of the struggling reigning world champion Ding Liren who made just a draw with six losses in the event.

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Gukesh simply had a bad day in office. The day started on a tough note against Caruana who did not miss any trick in the book to knock down a rook for a minor pieces before rampaging the black’s king side with a perfect attack.

Against Abdusattarov, Gukesh had to make some difficult choices in a complicated middle game and for once, the Indian was on the wrong side while against Keymer it was all over in a mere 22 moves.

With the rapid games done with, Gukesh will now take on Caruana in the Quarterfinals to be played under Classical time control. It is a known fact that Classical Chess is Indian’s forte and he is likely to be a tough challenger to the elite opponents.

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Abdusattarov, by virtue of winning, gets off-form Ding Liren as his opponent and Carlsen will meet match Alireza. Vincent Keymer and Aronian will play the other match.

In the Quarterfinal stages there will be two games each and the winner will be decided in games of shorter time control in case of a tied result.

Results rapid 5: Fabiano Caruana (USA) beat D Gukesh (Ind); Ding Liren (Chn) lost to Magnus Carlsen (nor); Levon Aronian (Usa) drew with Alireza Firouza (Fra); Nodirbek Abdusattarov (Uzb) drew with Vincent Keymer (Ger); Round 6: Gukesh lost to Abdusattarov; Aronian beat Liren; Carlsen drew with Caruana; Firouza beat Keymer.

Round 7: Keymer beat Gukesh; Liren drew with Alireza; Abdusattarov beat Carlsen; Caruana beat Aronian; Final standings rapid: 1.Abdusattarov (5.5); 2. Keymer (5) 3. Caruana (4.5); 4. Alireza (4); 5. Carlsen (3.5) 6. Gukesh (3); 7. Aronian (2); Liren (0.5). PTI AT AT

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