April 16, 2024

PICF 2024: Abdusattorov leads halfway through

The Prague International Chess Festival 2024, featuring Masters, Challengers, and Futures tournaments, crossed its halfway point after five days of play.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan) and Parham Maghsoodloo (Iran) got off to a great start in the Masters event, scoring 3/4, but in Round 5, their paths diverged. The Uzbek GM convincingly outplayed Mateusz Bartel and is going to the rest day as the sole leader as the Iranian miraculously saved a lost rook endgame facing Richard Rapport. If Nodirbek continues in the same vein in the second half of the event, he will debut in the top-10 Open in the April rating list. 

Abdusattorov scored his most spectacular win so far in Round 3 against David Navara. In this see-saw game, Nodirbek had an advantage first, then misplayed it completely and found himself in a desperate situation. Luckily for him, David made a natural move 28…Rxf7, grabbing the bishop (instead of 28…Bh7!) but missed a stunner. 

Nodirbek Abdusattorov – David Navara

29. Rd6!! All the rest is simply bad for White, but with this brilliant move, Abdusattorov sealed the deal after 29…Rc8 30. Nxf7+ Qxf7 31. Rxd4 b3 32. b6 Rc2 33. Qf3 b2 34. b7 Qf8 35. Rdd1 Rc5 36. Qb3 1-0

Richard Rapport is the third remaining player scoring over 50% (3/5), while Praggnanandhaa R, David Navara and Gukesh D are sitting on 2.5/5.

Standings after Round 5 Masters

Anton Korobov of Ukraine and young prodigy Ediz Gurel from Turkey (pictured below) are sharing the lead in the Challengers event with an excellent score of 4/5. Jaime Santos Latasa of Spain is in third place, trailing the leaders by a half-point. 

Standings after Round 5 Challengers

Aansh Nandan Nerurka of India leads the Futures tournament, a full point ahead of Pawel Brzezina from Poland. Tomas Andre and Evangelia Siskou are tied for third place.

Standings after Round 5 Futures

Photos: Petr Vrabec

Official website: praguechessfestival.com/