Sunday, May 19, 2024

Gukesh, Praggnanandhaa & Arjun in Warsaw for tourney


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Warsaw, May 7: Fresh from his historic triumph at the Candidates’ tournament, Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh will compete in the Superbet Rapid and Blitz chess tournament which begins here on Wednesday.
A part of the Grand Chess tour, the event will also see GM R Praggnanandhaa in action for the first time since the Candidates while world number seven Erigaise Arjun is the other Indian in the 10-player field for the tournament which will have nine rounds of rapid and 18 rounds of blitz to decide the winner.
The tournament favourite is none other than world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway who starts as the top seed.
The USD 175000 prize money event has as many as six wild cards in the first of the five events. The tour also has a bonus prize pool of USD 175000 for the top three finishers out of which a UDS 100000 is reserved for the winner.
The four players who have signed up for the entire tour are Gukesh, Praggnanandhaa, Anish Giri of Holland and Nodirbek Abdusattarov of Uzbekistan. All of them will take part in four out of five events out of which two will be classical and remaining three will be rapid and blitz.
Besides Carlsen and Arjun, the other four wild cards have been given to Wei Yi of China, Duda Jan-Krzysztof of Poland, Vincent Keymer of Germany and Kirill Shevchenko of Romania.
Set to play four out of five events in the tour, Gukesh looks like one of the tour favourites. The Chennai-based player also has a World Championship match to play later this year against Ding Liren of China and he surely has his hands full.
Praggnanandhaa is a known expert in the faster version of the game and has beaten Carlsen a few times already. If there is one opponent that creates fear for the opposition — that’s this 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa.
Arjun might have missed out on a Candidates berth very narrowly but has quickly put that setback aside. Banking on open events that elite players seldom play, Arjun struck back like a hurricane and briefly became top Indian rated player too till Gukesh surpassed him.
Arjun is one uncompromising player in the world who fears none and wants to be his best, no matter who the opposition is.
For Carlsen, the biggest opposition will come from the Indian trio only, both in Rapid and Blitz.
Gukesh may not be the best when it comes to faster version of the game but the reason why he is playing is a clear signal that he wants to get better at it. (PTI)


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