Bulgaria's Nurgyul Salimova Falls to Vaishali Rameshbabu After Tense Chess Tournament Battle

Sports | Author: Diana Kavardzhikova |April 16, 2024, Tuesday // 09:19
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Nurgyul Salimova Falls to Vaishali Rameshbabu After Tense Chess Tournament Battle

In a riveting showdown unfolding at the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Title in Toronto, Nurgyul Salimova faced off against India's Vaishali Rameshbabu for the second time, resulting in a gripping clash that lasted 88 moves and nearly six hours.

Despite holding a promising position on two occasions, Salimova, the 20-year-old Bulgarian contender, faltered against Vaishali's strategic maneuvers, leading to a disappointing defeat. This loss dealt a blow to Salimova's standing in the tournament, leaving her with 4 points and sixth place, while Vaishali secured 3.5 points, placing her in the eighth position.

Salimova, who was defeated by Vaishali in their initial encounter during the third round, aimed to retaliate against the Indian. Initially, it appeared that she had promising opportunities to accomplish this goal. During the opening phase, both players engaged in the Three Knights Variation within the Grünfeld Defense, presenting the Indian player with a challenging scenario. Initially, Salimova held the initiative, yet on the 22nd move, she chose Nh3, a move deemed relatively passive in the particular position.

Salimova's move resulted in a queen exchange, leading to a simplification of the position that enabled the Indian player to fully level the playing field.

As the match progressed, both players grappled with the pressures of time, with errors and miscalculations punctuating the gameplay. However, it was Vaishali's unwavering composure in the face of adversity that proved decisive, as she capitalized on Salimova's missteps to secure victory.

With a rest day scheduled for Tuesday, the tournament's competitors brace themselves for the upcoming challenges, with Salimova set to face off against Indian player Humpy Koneru in the 11th round. Salimova's sole victory thus far came against Koneru in the fourth round, adding an extra layer of anticipation to their upcoming match.

At the top of the leaderboard, Chinese player Lei Tingjie claimed the lead with an impressive 6.5 points, following a notable victory over Russian player Aleksandra Goryachkina. Tingjie's stellar performance puts her on equal footing with compatriot Tan Zhongyi, with both players holding a full-point lead over Goryachkina and Katerina Lagno of Russia. Koneru follows closely behind with 4.5 points, trailed by Salimova and Ukrainian player Anna Muzychuk, each with 4 points.

With four rounds remaining, the tension continues to mount as the race for victory intensifies in Toronto. The stakes are high, as the tournament's winner will be able to challenge China's Ju Wenjun for the women's world title this fall.

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Tags: POINTS, rameshbabu, tournament, Salimova

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