FIDE Grand Swiss: Vidit crushes Niemann to join pack of leaders

Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi crashed through the defences of Hans Moke Niemann of the United States to join the leaders’ pack on 4.5 points after the end of the sixth round of FIDE Grand Swiss.

Published : Oct 31, 2023 17:30 IST , Isle of Man - 4 MINS READ

Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi in action.
Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi in action. | Photo Credit: PTI

Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi in action. | Photo Credit: PTI

Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi crashed through the defences of Hans Moke Niemann of the United States to join the leaders’ pack on 4.5 points after the end of the sixth round of FIDE Grand Swiss, a part of the world championship cycle, here.

Having lost the first round itself, it has been a remarkable turnaround for Vidit, who recorded his fourth victory in last five games displaying some immaculate technique.

Arjun Erigaisi is the other Indian in the eight-way lead that includes American duo of Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura, Russian Andrey Esipenkov, Serb Alexandr Predke, Javokhir SIndarov of Uzbekistan and Yu Yangti of China.

The next best Indians are a full point behind and need a lot of hard work in the last five rounds of USD 460000 prize money tournament.

They are Aravindh Chithambaram, S L Narayanan and Nihal Sarin.

READ | FIDE Grand Swiss: Arjun downs Jumabayev to be in joint lead

In the sixth round Chithambaram held higher ranked Nodirbek Abdusattarov of Uzbekistan to a draw while Nihal could not break the ice with his Kerala state-mate Narayanan.

After a stupendous run in the past few months, R Pragnanandhaa needs to get the steam back post the only rest day in the event. The Indian star is still looking for an elusive first victory here as he split points for the sixth time in a row here, this time against Shant Sargasyan of Armenia.

Also settling for a draw was P Harikrishna against Aryan Chopra but in another shocker, D Gukesh succumbed to yet another defeat in the event as Azerbaijan’s Aydin Suleymanli proved stronger.

Gukesh, who is clearly struggling with his form here, is completely out of contention and will look forward to some damage control in the remaining part of the event.

Coming back to winning ways was the Indian trio of Abhijeet Gupta, Raunak Sadhwani and B Adhiban.

Gupta and Sadhwani reached a respectable 50 per cent post their victories while Adhiban inched himself up to 2.5 points.

Vidit opened with the Ruy Lopez as white and quickly exchanged off both the rooks to reach a queen and minor pieces middle game.

The position was riddled with a lot of complexities but Vidit navigated them in sheer style. Walking his Bishop to the base rank and Queen to the seventh to knock down a couple of pawns, the Indian ensured his King’s safety at the same time and romped home in 53 moves.

Arjun chose the Petroff defence to hold Yangyi easily. The pieces changed hands at a regular intervals and in less than thirty moves the players arrived at a drawn rook and pawns endgame. The draw was a just result.

In the women’s section, R Vaishali had another good result as she played out a draw with top seed Alexandra Goryachkins of Russia.

Vaishali moved to 4.5 points and remains in joint second position behind Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine, who defeated overnight leader Bibisara Assaubuyeva of Kazakhstan to take her tally to five out of a possible six.

D Harika moved to 3.5 points defeating compatriot B Savitha Shri while Tania Sachdev and Vantika Agrawal remained on two points apiece after losing to Nino Batsiashvili of Georgia and Mariam Mkrtchyan of Armenia respectively.

Important and Indian results round 6 (Indians unless specified):

Andrey Esipenko (FID, 4.5) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 4.5); Yu Yangyi (CHN, 4.5) drew with Arjun Erigaisi (4.5); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 4.5) beat Evgeniy Najer (FID, 3.5); Vladislav Artemiev (FID, 4) drew with Alireza Firouzja (FRA, 4); Nodirbek Yakubboev (UZB, 4) drew with Vincent Keymer (GER, 4); Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (4.5) beat Hans Moke Niemann (USA, 3.5); Samuel Sevian (USA, 3.5) lost to Javokhir Sindarov (UZB, 4.5); Alexandr Predke (SRB, 4.5) beat Sam Shankland (USA, 3.5); Radoslav Wojtaszek (POL, 4.5) beat Erwin L’ami (NED, 3.5); Ramazan Zhalmakhanov (KAZ, 4) drew with Anish Giri (NED, 3.5); Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB, 3.5) drew with Aravindh Chithambaram (3.5); Nihal Sarin (3.5) drew with S L Narayanan (3.5); Shant Sargsyan (Arm, 3) drew with R Praggnanandhaa (3); Aryan Chopra (3) drew with P Harikrishna (3); D Gukesh (2) lost to Aydin Suleymanli (AZE, 3); Murali Karthikeyan (2.5) drew with Haik Martirosyan (ARM, 2.5); Abhijeet Gupta (3) beat Kirill Shevchenko (ROU, 2); Raunak Sadhwani (3) beat Denis Lazavik (FID, 2); Adham Fawzy (EGY, 2) drew with Leon Luke Mendonca (2); B Adhiban (2.5) beat Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli (ESP, 1.5).

Women: Anna Muzychuk (UKR., 5) beat Bibisara Assaubayeva (KAZ, 4.5); R Vaishali (4.5) drew with Aleksandra Goryachkina (FID, 4.5); Leya Garifullina (FID, 4) drew with Tan Zhongyi (CHN, 4); Marsel Efroimski (ISR, 4) drew with Batkhuyag Munguntuul (MGL, 4); Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL, 4.5) beat Irina Bulmaga (ROU, 3.5); D Harika (3.5) beat B Savitha Shri (2.5); Nino Batsiashvili (GEO, 3) beat Tania Sachdev (2); Vantika Agrawal (2) lost to Mariam Mkrtchyan (ARM, 3); Alice Lee (USA, 1.5) drew with Divya Deshmukh (2).

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