Harikrishna set to defend his title at Prague International Chess Festival 2023 Masters
The fifth edition of Prague International Chess Festival 2023 starts today. India no.4 and World no.32 Pentala Harikrishna will be defending his Masters title as he won it last year convincingly. Harikrishna is third-highest rated player in the field. He got number ten at the Drawing of Lots. He will face Czech Republic no.2, Thai Dai Van Nguyen in the first round. India's 66th GM Akash G will be the sole participant in the Challengers section. He will start his campaign against FM Vaclav Finek (CZE). Both Masters and Challengers will be a Round-Robin event. A total of 32 players are taking part in the Open section. Round 1 for Masters and Challengers start today at 3 p.m. local time, 6:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Anezka Kruzikova/Prague International Chess Festival
Akash G in the Challengers
China no.3 - Hao Wang, USA no.6 - Sam Shankland, India no.4 - Pentala Harikrishna, Romania no.3 - Bogdan-Daniel Deac, Germany no.1 - Vincent Keymer, Czech Republic no.1 - David Navara, USA no.10 - Ray Robson, Armenia no.2 - Haik Martirosyan, Israel no.1 - Boris Gelfand and Czech Republic no.2 Thai Dai Van Nguyen comprise the Masters section. The average rating of the Masters event is 2690. That should give an inkling about the strength of this event. GM Akash G is playing in the Challengers section which has the exact same format and schedule. The average rating of the Challengers section is 2543.
The Masters section participants are - Hao Wang (CHN, 2722), Sam Shankland (USA, 2711), Pentala Harikrishna (2704), Bogdan-Daniel Deac (ROU, 2693), Vincent Keymer (GER, 2690), David Navara (CZE, 2689), Ray Robson (USA, 2689), Haik Martirosyan (ARM, 2685), Boris Gelfand (ISR, 2688) and Thai Dai Van Nguyen (CZE, 2653).
The Challengers section participants are - GM Gledura Benjamin (HUN, 2645), GM Erwin l'Ami (NED, 2645), GM Jergus Pechac (NED, 2611), GM Mateusz Bartel (POL, 2609), GM Alexander Motylev (ROU, 2597), GM Paulius Pultinevicius (LTU, 2530), GM Akash G (2483), IM Jan Vykouk (CZE, 2467), IM Richard Stalmach (CZE, 2436) and FM Vaclav Finek (CZE, 2409).
Pairings and Schedule
The Round-Robin tournaments will take place from 21st to 30th June 2023. Every day except the last round, games will start at 3 p.m. local time, 6:30 p.m. IST). Monday 26th June is a rest day. The ninth round game on 30th June will start at 11 a.m. local time, 2:30 p.m. IST.
Round 1 Masters pairings
|1||1||2653||GM||NGUYEN Thai Dai Van||GM||HARIKRISHNA Pentala||2704||10|
|2||2||2690||GM||KEYMER Vincent||GM||WANG Hao||2722||9|
|3||3||2689||GM||NAVARA David||GM||DEAC Bogdan-Daniel||2693||8|
|4||4||2711||GM||SHANKLAND Sam||GM||GELFAND Boris||2668||7|
|5||5||2685||GM||MARTIROSYAN Haik M.||GM||ROBSON Ray||2689||6|
Round 1 Challengers pairings
|1||1||2609||GM||BARTEL Mateusz||GM||GLEDURA Benjamin||2645||10|
|2||2||2436||IM||STALMACH Richard||GM||PULTINEVICIUS Paulius||2530||9|
|3||3||2409||FM||FINEK Vaclav||GM||AKASH G||2483||8|
|4||4||2611||GM||PECHAC Jergus||IM||VYKOUK Jan||2467||7|
|5||5||2597||GM||MOTYLEV Alexander||GM||L'AMI Erwin||2645||6|
The time control is 90'/40 moves + 30'/end & 30"/move.