Tata Steel Chess 2024: Vidit joins leaders, becomes top Indian in live rankings

Vidit Gujrathi’s victory in the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament puts him in the lead with other top players.

Published : Jan 28, 2024 21:04 IST , New Delhi - 2 MINS READ

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi becomes top Indian in live rankings.
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi becomes top Indian in live rankings. | Photo Credit: RAJEEV BHATT

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi becomes top Indian in live rankings. | Photo Credit: RAJEEV BHATT

After trailing the leaders till the penultimate round, Vidit Gujrathi finally caught all attention by stopping leader Nodirbek Abdusattorov in the 12th round and became part of a five-man leaders’ pack into the final round of the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament at Wijk aan Zee, near Amsterdam, on Saturday.

The second successive victory saw Vidit not only join D. Gukesh, Abdusattorov, Anish Giri and China’s Wei Yi at 7.5 points, but also made him the top-ranked Indian on the live rating list. Having gained 9.8 points from successive victories, Vidit raised his rating to 2751.5 for the 10th spot in the live world rankings for the first time.

Gukesh was left to regret the unusual manner in which he let R. Praggnanandhaa escape with a draw and, with it, missed an opportunity to become the sole leader.

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After gaining a winning position but under time pressure, Gukesh played a bishop move, stood up for a walk, but turned right back to check his score sheet if that left the position repeated for the third time.

An alert, Praggnanandhaa calmly noted the move on his score sheet, called the arbiter and made the queen move that resulted in the position being repeated thrice and rightfully claimed a draw.

After the game, Praggnanandhaa admitted, “I was just very lucky today because I played quite badly from the start. I played moves that just didn’t make any sense. I think he must have had some forced win at some point. I didn’t see a forced win yet, but it should be a dead loss.”

In the Challengers section, a triumphant Leon Mendonca (8.5 points) joined overnight leader Marc Andria Maurizzi, who lost to Daniel Dardha. The game between Divya Deshmukh and D. Harika ended in a draw.

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