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Chess.com Isle Of Man: Xiong, Gupta Join Leaders

 

An all-Indian battle on boards dour and 16, which happened to be next to each other. Superman won. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
An all-Indian battle on boards dour and 16, which happened to be next to each other. Superman won. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Written by Mike Klein | Read the full report at https://www.chess.com/news/view/chess-com-isle-of-man-xiong-gupta-join-leaders

Grab your saddle. The fifth round of the 2018 Chess.com Isle of Man International was all about knights versus pawns. The final verdict? A draw.

Jeffery Xiong's three pawns overcame Richard Rapport's knight for the American to join the lead. But Sergey Karjakin's two knights, his final two pieces, were enough to checkmate Sam Sevianprecisely because of the American's remaining pawn. And finally, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave offered his knight for three pawns, but had to settle for a perpetual in an all-knights ending!

On the top board, Wang Hao and Arkadij Naiditsch, the two perfect scores, drew to move to 4.5/5. But that allowed two others to catch up—Xiong and Abhijeet Gupta (who beat the heretofore dominant Vidit Gujrathi). 

Xiong wasn't that thrilled with his pairing and said, "I consider Richard Rapport to be the most creative player in the world, actually." But it was the teenager who produced the unique idea that formed a rare diamond formation of pawns. 

Read the full report at  https://www.chess.com/news/view/chess-com-isle-of-man-xiong-gupta-join-leaders

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