Fall Chess Classic R1-5: Vidit and Raunak in lead
The 2022 Fall Chess Classic is the third installment of the Chess Classics featuring international chess professionals. The Fall Chess Classic is comprised of two, 10-player Round Robin tournaments. 3 Indian players are taking part in the tournament - GMs Vidit Gujrathi, Surya Sekhar Ganguly, and Raunak Sadhwani. Vidit and Surya are playing in Group A, and Raunak is playing in Group B of the tournament. After 5 rounds, GM Vidit Gujrathi is leading the A group, and GM Raunak Sadhwani is leading the B group. Photo: Austin Fuller.
Vidit reaches World no.22 in live ratings
Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi started off with an excellent win against Surya Sekhar Ganguly. Surya had a great position out of the opening, but his attempt to over-stretch his position to a win backfired. Vidit's bishop pair proved too powerful, and he managed to win the game. This win took Vidit to the India no. 2 spot!
Round 2: Vidit Gujrathi - Nikolas Theodorou: 1-0
Vidit had a tiny advantage with the white pieces throughout the game. Eventually, Vidit gained a pawn and entered a double rook and Bishop ending, which was still okay for Nikolas to hold.
52...Kg8 became Black's final mistake which tipped the scale completely in White's favor. The best continuation for Black would've been to play 52...Kg6, where the king would've been comparatively active and safer. But ...Kg8 runs into 53. e6! The pawn cannot be captured, because ..Rxe6 is met with Rf8#. Now the passed pawn has become too strong, and Vidit converted it to a win in the next few moves.
Round 3: Raunak Sadhwani - Tigran K. Harutyunyan: 1-0
The Grandmaster from Nagpur, Raunak Sadhwani has been playing excellent chess in the Fall Classic B group. In the first 3 rounds, he scored 3 consecutive wins! In Round 3, he played a beautiful attacking game to taken down Tigran Harutyunyan.
Accepting the pawn sacrifice 24.f4 proved to be too dangerous. Raunak started a very nice attack on the kingside with 25. Be3! followed by 26. Qf2. A series of accurate moves launched a devastating attack on the Black king, and Raunak won a very nice game.
Round 4: Surya Sekhar Ganguly - Nikolas Theodorou: 1-0
Surya is having a tough event so far - in 5 rounds, he has only managed to score 1.5 points so far. His sole win came against Grandmaster Nikolas Theodorou in Round 4, where Surya outclassed his opponent in the opening.
In an opposite-side castling position, the side who attacks first usually has the advantage. But Black's move ...g6 doesn't contribute to that cause -White just won a pawn with 13. Nxc4 Nxc4 14. Qxc4, forcing a queen trade in the next few moves. Surya went on to comfortably convert the pawn-up position.