Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi showed his technical brilliance to down Dmitrij Kollars of Germany and score his second straight victory in the third round of FIDE Grand Swiss, a part of the World Championship cycle.
Having lost the first round, Gujrathi had beaten compatriot Abhijeet Gupta with black pieces in the second round and now this victory should work as a huge confidence booster for the Indian star.
In the women’s event being held simultaneously, R Vaishali displayed some amazing tactical acumen to crush Leya Garifullina, who is playing under the FIDE flag. With 2.5 points in her bag from the first three rounds, Vaishali now shares the third spot in this section behind Tan Zhongyi of China and Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine.
In the open section that carries a total prize pool of USD 460000, 10 players share the lead with an identical 2.5 points. With the top six boards ending in draws, Uzbek youngster Javokhir Sindarov lit up the proceedings defeating elite Grandmaster Levon Aronian of the United States.
Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi made sure he remained in the leader’s pack after settling for a draw with Alexey Sarana who now represents Serbia.
A former Russian, Sarana was under some pressure after he gave up a pawn, but as the battle unfolded, Arjun realized that his chances in the rook and pawns endgame were probably not enough to take home the full point.
S L Narayanan and Aravindh Chithambaram inched themselves up to two points each after signing the peace with Nikita Vituigov of England and Amin Tabatabei of Iran while Aryan Chopra found a tough customer in second seed Hikaru Nakamura and was the only GM from India to lose in the third round.
In other games involving Indians, D Gukesh was held to a draw by Alon Pichot of Spain while R Praggnanandhaa got the same result against compatriot Raunak Sadhwani.
P Harikrishna could not find any real advantage with his white pieces against Murali Karthikeyan and drew in 31 moves, while Nihal Sarin shared the point with Vasif Durarbayli of Azerbaijan.
With eight rounds still to come, former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta and B Adhiban continued to struggle as they were held by lesser-rated Along Greenfeld of Israel and local player Dietmar Kolbas, respectively.
Vidit Gujrathi was on a mission as he gradually outclassed Kollars from the black side of a Sicilian Alapin game.
After equalizing early in the middle game, Gujrathi reached a Queen and minor piece endgame where his knight jumped all over the board combining well with the queen. It took a patient 56 moves before the Indian forced resignation.
The women’s section saw Vaishali coming out all guns blazing against Garifullina. The middle game arising out of a Sicilian Grand Prix attack looked double-edged but backed by her brilliant calculating abilities Vaishali launched a direct attack on the king.
Garifullina was at sea trying to find the best defence, and it was all over in a mere 25 moves.
Grandmaster D Harika and B Savitha Shri took themselves up to 1.5 points apiece after splitting the points with Sophie Millet of France and Anna Ushenina of Ukraine respectively. Divya Deshmukh lost to top seed Alexandra Goryachkina representing FIDE and Tania Sachdev was beaten by Marsel Efroimski of Israel.
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