Vidit Gujrathi and Raunak Sadhwani finish 2nd in the Fall Chess Classic
A total of 3 Indian players participated in the Fall Chess Classic, a 10-player round robin event - Vidit Gujrathi, Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Raunak Sadhwani. GM Yu Yangyi scored 6.5/9 to win the A group, while Vidit scored 6/9 to bag the 2nd position in A group. With this win, Vidit has reinstated his India no. 2 position, taking his live rating to 2730. In the B group, it was GM Aleksandr Lenderman who clinched the 1st place, and Raunak Sadhwani came in 2nd. It was a tough tournament for Surya Ganguly - he was only able to score 1 win in group A, scoring 2.5/9. The event had a total prize fund of USD 36,000. Photo: Crystal Fuller/ Saint Louis Chess Club.
Yu Yangyi wins Fall Chess Classic Group A, Vidit finishes 2nd
Chinese Grandmaster Yu Yangyi had an excellent event, scoring an unbeaten 6.5/9 to win the Fall Chess Classic Group A. The only person who had a chance to catch up with him was Vidit, but Yu Yangyi scored an excellent win in the final round to seal his victory. Thanks to this excellent performance, Yu Yangyi is World no. 21 right now, with a live rating of 2728!
After a tough loss against Grandmaster Nijat Abasov in Round 6, Vidit made an excellent comeback in the remaining rounds. In Round 7, he drew against Niemann, and went on to defeat Oparin and Nzyhnyk in Round 8 and 9! Thanks to these wins, Vidit finished 2nd in the Group A of the Fall Chess Classic, scoring 6/9. A very solid performance gaining 6 Elo points, after Vidit gained 14 Elo points at the European Club Cup 2022, entering the World top 20 rankings and regaining his India no. 2 spot.
Round 7: Grigoriy Oparin - Vidit Gujrathi : 1-0
In a very complex position where Black's pieces are swarming the Kingside, Oparin couldn't keep up the pressure and collapsed.
White is already down a pawn, but 29. f4 just loses another pawn to 29...Nxg4. The best way for White to continue was Ng3 followed by Nh5, blocking the h-file and offering to trade the Queens with Qe3. But this is very hard to find in a practical game, considering that Vidit was already putting a lot of pressure to the White King. The major pieces were traded soon and Vidit comfortably converted the 2-pawns up endgame.
It was a tough tournament for the other Indian participant in Group A - Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly. After an amazing performance at the BCC Open 2022, Surya finished with only 2.5/9, scoring only 1 victory in Round 4.
After the final round of the Fall Chess Classic, Vidit Gujrathi and Surya Sekhar Ganguly joined Fabiano Caruana and Cristian Chirila in St. Louis, live on the C-squared Podcast! Check out their conversation on recent events, Fischer Random World Championship, Chesscom Global Championship, and much more:
GM Aleksandr Lenderman wins Group B, Raunak Sadhwani bags 2nd place
Grandmaster Aleksandr Lenderman won the Group B with a round to spare, scoring a dominating 6.5/9. His only loss of the tournament came to GM Cristian Chirila on the final round.
Raunak had an excellent start to the event - he started with 3 consecutive victories in the first 3 rounds. After drawing Round 4 and 5, he lost 2 games back-to-back. But the Nagpur whizkid is a fighter - he bounced back with a win in the final round against GM Akshat Chandra! Thanks to this win, Raunak finished in 2nd place with a score of 5.5/9.
Round 9: Akshat Chandra - Raunak Sadhwani: 0-1
Akshat got a really great position out of the opening, and Raunak was under some serious pressure early in the game!
...Qd7 was too slow - Akshat continued with 14. h4! followed by 15. Bg5, trading off the dark-squared bishop and removing the blockade in front of the protected and passed e5-pawn. White was doing really well and had a borderline winning position, but he went wrong soon.
Kg1 was a mistake and lets Black back into the game with 20...h6!, preventing Ng5 in the future. The best way for White to continue was e6! Rd6 dxc5 bxc5 Ng5 Nd8 Nxe4! winning a pawn and having a completely winning position. After a few moves, it seemed like Black has solved all of his troubles - the minor pieces were exchanged, and the center passed pawn was not harmful anymore.
Black was already on the verge of being a little better, but Rf3 is just a tactical blunder. Akshat instantly resigned after 33...Qh6! as there is no way to prevent checkmate without giving up the Queen. Thus, Raunak won his last round game and bagged 2nd place in his group!