Tata Steel Chess: Vidit wins, Praggnanandhaa holds Anish

Vidit Gujrathi was off to a winning start when he overpowered USA’s Sam Shankland in 63 moves spread over six hours in the Masters section of the Tata Steel Chess.

Vidit Gujrathi

File picture of Vidit Gujrathi.   -  RAJEEV BHATT

Vidit Gujrathi was off to a winning start when he overpowered USA’s Sam Shankland in 63 moves spread over six hours in the Masters section of the Tata Steel Chess at Wijk Aan Zee, near Amsterdam, on Saturday.

R. Praggnanandhaa, the other Indian in the traditional season-opener, drew with Anish Giri in 44 moves from the black side. This is a great opportunity for the teen sensation to match wits with some of the best names in the game in classical time-control.

Vidit, Jan-Krzysztoff Duda and defending champion Jordeen van Foreest shared the lead following their triumphant start in the 14-player, 13-round premier event.

World champion Magnus Carlsen, a seven-time winner, and Fabiano Caruana were among those involved in draws. In the 14-player Challenger section, Surya Shekhar Ganguly was among the four first-round winners while Arjun Erigaisi drew.

First-round results (Indians unless stated)
Masters: Vidit Gujrathi bt Sam Shankland (USA); Anish Giri (Ned) drew with R. Praggnanandhaa; Andrey Esipenko (Rus) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor); Fabiano Caruana (USA) drew with Sergey Karjakin (Rus); Daniil Dubov (Rus) drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze); Jan Krzysztof Duda (Pol) bt Richard Rapport (Hun); Jorden van Foreest (Ned) bt Nils Grandelius (Swe).

Challengers (involving Indians): Surya Shekhar Ganguly bt Marc Andria Maurizzi (Fra); Arjun Erigaisi drew with Lucas van Foreest (Ned).

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