Penultimate Round Results:

Gupta 1-0 Braun
Rodshtein 0-1 Howell
Negi 1-0 Nguyen
So 1/2 Safarli

Pre-Final Round Standings and Tie-break Points:

9.0 Howell (30509)
9.0 Negi (30133)
9.0 Gupta (29663)
8.5 Safarli (30630)
8.5 Braun (30564)

8.0 So
8.0 Nguyen
8.0 Rodshtein
8.0 Mamedov
8.0 Hou
8.0 Le
8.0 Amin
8.0 Melkumyan

From L-R: Safarli, Nguyen, Howell, Braun, Gupta, Rodshtein, Negi, So ©Turkish Chess Federation

India’s Abhijeet Gupta and Parimarjan Negi posted crucial round twelve victories against separate rivals to book themselves tickets to Friday’s gold medal matches. Erstwhile leader Arik Braun was forced to give up the exchange against Gupta. The German was about to lose his pinned bishop when he resigned.

Negi fought a semi-closed positional battle against Vietnam’s Nguyen before unleashing a kingside piece sacrifice which resulted in an impending promotion with backrank threats.

Not to be outdone is England’s Howell who now has an inside track on the title after squeezing out a win with the black pieces, ending Rodshtein’s championship hopes after the Israeli absorbed his second straight defeat.

Braun still harbors a very slim chance of winning the championship as well as the Azeri Eltaj Safarli, who quickly drew his match against Wesley So.

A loss by Wesley in the final round against Nguyen would pull down his live rating below the 2600 mark.

Final Round Pairings:

9.0 Howell – Gupta 9.0
8.5 Braun – Negi 9.0
8.5 Safarli – Rodshtein 8.0