Bulgarian Nurgyul Salimova's Near Triumph Against World Champion Tan Zhongyi

In a gripping showdown at the Candidates Tournament in Toronto, Nurgyul Salimova came tantalizingly close to securing a monumental victory against the formidable 16th world champion, Tan Zhongyi of China. However, her hopes were dashed as a crucial misstep allowed Tan to salvage a draw from what seemed like an inevitable defeat.

During the 12th round of the Candidates Tournament in Toronto 2024, 20-year-old Bulgarian Salimova found herself in a winning position with the white pieces against the tournament's top-ranked player, Tan Zhongyi. However, a seemingly inexperienced decision to exchange pieces ultimately allowed Tan to escape. The game ended in a draw after 68 moves.

Despite her valiant effort, Salimova, who had faced setbacks in the previous rounds, found herself languishing in last place in the rankings. Nonetheless, her performance in this high-stakes encounter underscored her potential as a formidable contender in the world of chess.

In the standings with just two rounds remaining, Salimova finds herself in seventh place with 4.5 points, neck and neck with eighth-ranked Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Tan maintains her commanding lead at the top with 8 points, closely followed by her compatriot Lei Tingjie with 7.5 points.

As the tournament enters its final stages, the tension mounts for Salimova and her fellow competitors.

Russian competitors Aleksandra Goryachkina and Kateryna Lagno, joined by Indian contender Humpy Koneru, are currently level in third place, each accumulating 6 points.

Continue reading on: