Chess: Test Of Time For D Gukesh To Excel In Faster Version, Vidit Gujrathi Joins In As Wild card in Zagreb

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World Championship challenger D Gukesh will look to improve his billing in the faster version as Vidit Gujrathi joins him for the Superunited rapid and blitz chess tournament, a part of the Grand Chess Tour. Set to meet Chinese Ding Liren in Singapore from November 20th to decide the next world champion, Gukesh has repeatedly proved his superior ability in the Classical format. But when it comes to faster version, the Indian is yet to find his place amongst the world elite.

The fact remains that in case of a tied result in the World Championship, there will be games under faster time control of rapid and blitz chess to determine the winner and Gukesh would like to set the record straight like American Fabiano Caruana just did a few days back in Bucharest when he won the tiebreaker by a mile winning his games against Gukesh, R Praggnanandhaa and Alireza Firouzja of France.

Gujrathi, who has got a wildcard, will be the other Indian in the fray in the USD 175000 prize money tournament that will have nine rounds under rapid and 18 under blitz chess rules.

With each win worth two points in rapid and one under the blitz rules, it remains to be seen who will be the master of Zagreb but the odds are in favour of top seed Caruana who will look forward to notching back-to-back wins on the tour.

Ian Nepomniachtchi from Russia and Alireza are another two players who can turn the tide in their favour on their day and here they have five playing days to prove their true mettle.

Wesley So of America, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France and Anish Giri of Holland are the other three in contention while local star Ivan Saric and another American Levon Aronian complete the ten-player line up.

So remains dangerous but is clearly struggling with form while Vachier-Lagrave has to prove himself yet again.

Levon Aronian led his team to a triumph in the last Global Chess League in Dubai but the former Armenian is clearly past his best. Giri, on the other hand, has had mixed success in faster version and will like to end it on a high.

All eyes will be on Gujrathi if he can replicate his magic. Gujrathi had come out as one of the best prepared players in the last Candidates tournament and there is every chance that he will spring a few surprises here.

Players: D Gukesh, Vidit Gujrathi (Ind); Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Wesley So (Usa); Alireza Firouzja, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra); Ian Nepomniachtchi (Fid); Ivan Saric (Cro); Anish Giri (Ned). 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Vidit Gujrathi
Gukesh D


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