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Nagpur to host Vidit vs Svidler, Raunak vs Short + 3 tournaments at the Maharashtra Chess Festival 2023

by Shahid Ahmed - 29/05/2023

Nagpur will host an extremely exciting chess festival from the 1st to the 9th of June 2023. It will include 1 GM tournament, 1 below 2000 FIDE rating tournament, 1 below 1600 FIDE rating tournament and two exhibition matches! These 2 exhibitions matches are going to be extremely exciting as Vidit Gujrathi takes on Peter Svidler and Raunak Sadhwani takes on Nigel Short. In this article we bring you all the information about this chess festival. If you are looking for a good chess tournament, then this is your chance. You can play at the festival and then follow these two amazing matches!

2nd Maharashtra Chess festival

After the success of the 1st Maharashtra Chess Festival in 2022 in Pune, the 2nd edition is back! This time it is happening in the city of Nagpur.

2nd Maharashtra Chess Festival will take place from 1st to 9th June 2023

The venue of the Festival will be Hotel Niavedhyam North Star, Koradi Raod, Nagpur (Please note that the venue has been changed recently).

Exhibition matches

There will be two exhibition matches - GM Vidit Gujrathi vs GM Peter Svidler and GM Raunak Sadhwani vs GM Nigel Short. There will be - 4 classical, 4 rapid and 8 blitz games. Scoring system will be Classical - 3 points for the winner, Rapid - 2 points for the winner and Blitz - 1 point for the winner. Draw will get half of the winner's points. If overall points are equal then Armageddon will break the tie.

GM Vidit Gujrathi vs GM Peter Svidler | Photo: Vivek Sohani

This will be a mouthwatering encounter. A few days ago when the match was scheduled, it felt like Vidit was a clear favourite. His Elo was 2731 and Svidler's rating was 2683. At the same time Vidit has been quite active and playing several tournaments, while Svidler has been relatively inactive. However, things have changed in the last month or so. Vidit's performance at the Sharjah Masters 2023 wasn't great. He lost 19 Elo points, while Svidler won the very strong Sigeman & Co. 2023 tournament ahead of Gukesh and Arjun. Things look much more even now. Apart from the fact that he is in good form right now, Svidler is an absolute class act. He has been the Russian champion for a record 8 times. He has played in 3 World Championship tournaments in 2002, 2005 and 2007 and he has also played in three Candidates tournaments in 2013, 2014 and 2016. He has also won the Chess World Cup back in 2011. He has reached a peak rating of 2769 in 2013. It goes without saying that if Svidler brings forth his A game, it would be extremely difficult for Vidit to handle him. On the other hand, Vidit would be motivated that the tournament is happening in his home state - Maharashtra and he will be the crowd favourite. Last time that happened, Vidit performed exceedingly well at the ChessBase India Originals Death Match against Anish Giri.

GM Raunak Sadhwani vs GM Nigel Short | Photo: Vivek Sohani

It's the clash of generations here. 17-year-old Raunak Sadhwani takes on 57-year-old Nigel Short. It's also the first time in several decades that Nigel's rating has fallen down below 2600. But don't be fooled by numbers. Being a former World Championship challenger, three-time Commonwealth Champion and having a career high Elo of 2712, all that Nigel needs is some motivation. And facing one of the biggest talents in the world of chess is good enough motivation! Raunak is surely a slight favourite in the match given that he works very hard on chess and is a very strong rapid and blitz player. However, Nigel cannot be underestimated. If he manages to survive the first few games and get back into the groove, it would be an enjoyable match to follow. It would also provide Raunak with great experience that would definitely come in handy when he will play matches later on in his career.

We asked GM Abhijit Kunte, the chairman and chief coach of the selection committe in AICF and MCA Vice President about how the idea of the match came about. He said, "While doing the Maharashtra Chess Festival we were thinking about how we could give top Indian and Maharashtra players maximum exposure. That is how the idea of the match came about. In future you can expect us to hold more matches, or event a Round Robin event." Related to how the opponents of Vidit and Raunak were chosen, Abhijit replied, "Nigel wanted to come to India and we felt that he would be a wonderful opponent for Raunak. As for Peter Svilder, he was Vidit's choice. Vidit was given the option to choose his opponent. I am glad that both Svidler and Short have agreed. It is going to be an extremely fun event." When speaking about the people who have made this possible, Kunte says, "A lot of people have put in their efforts to make this possible. A special mention has to be made about the MCA President Parinay Fuke. He agreed to the idea of the matches and has helped tremendously with the funds. A special shoutout to the Nitin Kareer, former MCA President and Government of Maharashtra. I would also like to thank all the Vice presidents of Maharashtra Chess Association for their unconditional support."

President of the Maharashtra Chess Association Dr. Parinay Fuke is also a member of the Legislative Council from Bhandara-Gondia Constituency. He is one of the big reasons for such a massive chess festival taking place in Nagpur.

Saurabh Gadgil, MD and CEO of PNG Jewellers is a key element of the Vidit vs Svidler match

Half of the prize fund for the Vidit vs Svidler match is being sponsored by PNG Jewellers. We asked him the reason for supporting chess and Vidit and this is what Saurabh had to say, "PNG Jewellers has always been supporting the game of chess in India. PNG Jewellers has also been organizing a chess tournament in Sangli for over 50 years now. Over and above, chess has been my favorite game since the very beginning, having represented our great state of Maharashtra in chess tournaments in the past. We believe that it is time for India to produce its next champion after Viswanathan Anand! Vidit is an exceptionally talented chess player and we are supporting him for his match with Svidler in the coming days which will be held in Nagpur where PNG Jewellers will also be launching its second store in Itvari! PNG already has a store in Bajaj Nagar area in Nagpur. We hope that Vidit will make our nation proud and become the champion we believe he already is!"

The PNG Jewellers store in Bajaj Nagar, Nagpur. Very soon a second store is to be launched in Itvari.

2nd Maharashtra International Open GM tournament 2023

Players list:

No. NameIDFideIDFEDRtgsexTypGrClub/City
1GMSavchenko, Boris84147332FID2529RUS
2GMZakhartsov, Viacheslav V.104115333FID2514FID
3GMPaichadze, Luka1313602934GEO2513GEO
4GMBurmakin, Vladimir54105109FID2496RUS
5GMAkash, G579420215040299IND2483TN
6GMVorobiov, Evgeny E.94121341FID2483RUS
7GMSengupta, Deep661820215008352IND2473PSPB
8GMVenkatesh, M.R.05005779IND2469AICF Pending
9GMAleksandrov, Aleksej413500139FID2459BLR
10GMFedorov, Alexei613500465FID2452BLR
11IMNitish, Belurkar450020215084768IND2450GOA
12IMSzpar, Milosz161184989POL2447POL
13IMSammed Jaykumar, Shete662820215073421IND2440MAH
14IMNeelash, Saha648120215094160IND2436WB
15IMViani, Antonio Dcunha740820215027330IND2417KAR
16GMMirzoev, Azer313400304AZE2416AZE
17IMSrihari, L R2906202146617116IND2416TN
18IMMohammad, Nubairshah Shaikh9962520215053196IND2415MAH
19IMKushagra, Mohan2725202125033638IND2400TEL
20IMRohith, Krishna S3068202146617051IND2385TN


All players


The 2nd Maharashtra GM tournament will take place from 1st to 9th June 2023. Double rounds are on 2nd and 4th June.

2nd Maharashtra GM tournament schedule

Eligibility, Time Control and System of Play

The 2nd Maharashtra GM Open tournament is valid for players who have a FIDE rating of 2000 and above as per the June 2023 FIDE rating list.

Eligibility, System of Play and Time Control for 2nd Maharashtra GM Tournament .

Entry fee

There is no entry fee for GMs, IMs, WGMs, WIMs, and foreign players rated above 2000. For everyone else, check out the fee structure below: 

  Entry fee structure for 2nd Maharashtra GM Tournament. You can register here.


The total prize fund is ₹25,00,0000.

Main Prizes

Cateogry and special Prizes

Maharashtra Chess Festival Below 2000 FIDE rating

No. NameIDFideIDFEDRtgsexTypClub/City
1Ayush, Jugele2766220215007275IND1958MAH
2Sudhanshu, Ranjan179660202345073228IND1938BIH
3Umashankar, A3988202135009931IND1891PON
4Nitish, Das192794202325089315IND1880ASSM
5Sudarshan, Malga19361820235028736IND1875MP
6Mithun, Anand V99190202135040448IND1871TN
7Rao J., Malleswara2199020215010926IND1870AP
8Chandan, Mandal251420215031109IND1858DEL
9Om, Nagnath Lamkane89463202125620592IND1858MAH
10Nirgun, Keval25591202135099957IND1844MAH
11Gaikwad, Manas50669202125912410IND1814U13MAH
12Md Rabiul, Hossain1010227776BAN1800BAN
13Basak, Bishal22108202145049599IND1788WB
14Sharnarthi, Viresh58467202125978055IND1783U13MAH
15Himanshu, Ranjan24607202145072981IND1782BIH
16Shadat, Kibria Ayaan1810237755BAN1775BAN
17Ajay, Virwani68420215001188IND1773MP
18Aritrya, Pal29253202125612093IND1757WB
19Jai, Sankar Subramanian52729202125931970IND1755TN
20Anurag, Jaiswal31620215017858IND1745WB


Complete list


Maharashtra Chess Festival Below 2000 Rating tournament schedule

Eligibility, System of Play, Time Control and Fair Play for 1st Maharashtra Chess Festival Below 2000 Rating tournament

  Entry fee structure for 1st Maharashtra Chess Festival Below 2000 Rating tournament . Fill in the form here.


Main Prizes

Category prizes I

Category Prizes II

Maharashtra Chess Festival Below 1600 FIDE rating

No. NameIDFideIDFEDRtgsexTypClub/City
1Sparsh, Yadav43062202125742310IND1597UP
2Kaushik, Chowdhury810215964BAN1590BAN
3Raghul, Saro S21228202145043647IND1583TN
4Nusrat, Jahan Liza1110222952BAN1566wBAN
5Gaurav, Sharma26736202135058096IND1560DEL
6Vispute, Mayur17636202146625313IND1557MAH
7Safayat, Kibria Azaan1410245502BAN1551U09BAN
8Gunawardhana, Devindya Oshini329941482SRI1530wU11SRI
9Md., Tayabur Rahman910206213BAN1529BAN
10Saket, Kumar667520215018358IND1493BIH
11Rayan, Rashid Mugdho1210253424BAN1487U09BAN
12Pal, Vedika66642202125147986IND1482wU11MAH
13Dilip, Ranjan Chakraborty79331202125081527IND1466S60WB
14Shibin, K Benny2173202135040715IND1455KAR
15Sayam, Vishvesh40063202125711571IND1451MAH
16Kabnurakar, Rushikesh114202202133434247IND1431MAH
17Ramteke, Sumedh99371202146629939IND1426MAH
18Sovna, Sonali Jena91120215084253IND1422wODI
19Sresth, Yadav114394202133469172IND1421UP
20Gagan, Kumar Sahu88141202133396183IND1390U15CG


Complete list



Maharashtra Chess Festival Below 1600 Rating tournament schedule

Eligibility, System of Play, Time Control and Fair Play for 1st Maharashtra Chess Festival Below 1600 Rating tournament

Entry fee:


Entry fee structure for 1st Maharashtra Chess Festival Below 1600 Rating tournament. You can fill the form here.


Main Prizes

Category prizes I

Category Prizes II

A note on prize money for all 3 events

Prize money notes for all three events

Good news! There is no late fee for the entry fee until 30th of May 2023

Contact details

1. Niranjan Godbole – Tournament Director – +91-9673003780

2. KK Barat – Jt. Organising Secretary - +91-9422174490

3. Bhushan Shriwas – Jt. Organising Secretary – +91-9890860484

4. Rohit Tembe – Registrations – +91-8007944674

5. Amit Kench – Registrations – +91-9923429561

Download circulars

Visit our calendar here to download the tournament circular for each event: GM Tournament, Below 2000 and Below 1600.


Maharashtra Chess Association: Official site and fb page

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@ 06/09/2019 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
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@ 04/09/2019 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
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@ 11/06/2019 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
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@ 04/06/2019 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
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@ 02/05/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
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@ 16/03/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
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@ 09/03/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
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@ 27/02/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
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@ 18/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
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@ 09/12/2018 by Sagar Shah (en)
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@ 21/11/2018 by Ankit Dalal (en)
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@ 24/10/2018 by Sagar Shah (en)
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@ 28/09/2018 by Aditya Pai (en)
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@ 24/09/2018 by ChessBase India (en)
12-year-old Raunak Sadhwani is just 22 Elo points away from becoming an IM

@ 12/05/2018 by Sagar Shah (en)

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