Hou Yifan challenge: Keymer overtakes Pragg
Yoo on the hunt
The fourth event of the Julius Baer Challengers Tour is a unique 17-player round robin tournament. Since there are an odd number of players, each participant rests in one of the rounds. Of the three players vying for first place, only Praggnanandhaa (9Â½ / 13) should benefit from an exemption round on Tuesday. Vincent Keymer (10/12) and Christopher Yoo (9Â½ / 12) will play four games on the final day of action, while Pragg will rest in the penultimate round.
After his superb start on 9/9, Pragg unexpectedly collapsed on day three of action, scoring just half a point in four games. In addition, the Indian prodigy started the day with defeats against his two direct rivals for the title, Yoo and Keymer.
While Yoo scored 3Â½ / 4 to move up to shared second place, Keymer got 3/4 points on Monday, as he lost his second game of the tournament in round 12, to Russian WGM Leya Garifullina – the star German did not draw. so far in the online event.
In the crucial 11th round match between Keymer and Pragg, the young German got the better of his colleague after the Indian incorrectly traded turns in a technical final.
Black is a prone pawn but can still gain half a point after 42 … Bb5, since his pieces are active enough to keep balance. Instead, Pragg 42 … Ra3 loses against 43.Ra2 Rxa2 44.Bxa2. Finals Specialist Karsten MÃ¼ller explains why it was Black’s mistake!
GM MÃ¼ller is impressed with the technical level of the participants. He analyzed a Balaji Daggupati victory over Oliwia Kiolbasa in a round final and wrote: âDagg’s really impressive round final technique. Unbelievable how strong these young players are in the final phase. “
In this complex ending, Black would have kept chances to shoot with 35 … Rd8, while 35 … Tc4 was answered by 36.Rxd5 and white continued to show good technique until they got an 88-stroke victory!