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Praggnanandhaa, Vidit and Gukesh set to battle world's best at Prague International Chess Festival 2024 Masters

by Shahid Ahmed - 27/02/2024

The sixth edition of Prague International Chess Festival 2024 starts today. Four Indian Candidates will be seen in action - R Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi, D Gukesh and R Vaishali. The first three will play in the Masters section, while Vaishali will battle in the Challengers. That's not all. The reigning 36th National Under-11 Open 2023 champion, Aansh Nandan Nerurkar will play in the Futures group. This year, the Indian participation in the round-robin events is the highest ever at this event. The legend - Vishy Anand opened the festival. ChessBase India cofounders IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal will be the Official Commentators. Round 1 for Masters and Challengers start today at 3 p.m. local time, 7:30 p.m. IST. Photos: Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal

Vaishali in the Challengers, Aansh Nerurkar in the Futures; Sagar and Amruta are the Official Commentators

World no.13 and India no.2 - R Praggnanandhaa, World no.14 and India no.3 - Vidit Gujrathi, World no.15, Uzbekistan no.1 and former World Rapid champion - Nodirbek Abdusattorov, World no.16 and India no.5 - D Gukesh, World no.17 and Germany no.1 - Vincent Keymer, World no.28 and Romania no.1 - Richard Rapport, World no.29 and Iran no.1 - Parham Maghsoodloo, Czech Republic no.1 - David Navara, Poland no.3 and the winner of last year's Challengers section - Mateusz Bartel and Czech Republic no.2 - Thai Dai Van Nguyen comprise the Masters section. The average rating of the Masters event is 2711, 21 points more than the previous edition. GM R Vaishali is playing in the Challengers section and Aansh Nandan Nerurkar, the Futures, both of them have the exact same format and schedule. The average rating of the Challengers section is 2546.

The winner of the first four edition of the Masters (L to R): Nikita Vitiugov, Alireza Firouzja, Sam Shankland and Pentala Harikrishna

The portrait of previous two Masters winners - GM Pentala Harikrishna and GM Ray Robson (USA), winner of the fifth edition in 2023

Masters participants

The Masters section participants are - R Praggnanandhaa (2747), Vidit Gujrathi (2747), Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB, 2744), D Gukesh (2743), Vincent Keymer (GER, 2738), Richard Rapport (ROU, 2717), Parham Maghsoodloo (IRI, 2715) David Navara (CZE, 2667), Mateusz Bartel (POL, 2660) and Thai Dai Van Nguyen (CZE, 2630).

The Masters participants

Challengers participants

The Challengers section participants are - GM Anton Korobov (UKR, 2666), GM Erwin L'ami (NED, 2636), GM Abhimanyu Mishra (USA, 2627), GM Jaime Santos Latasa (ESP, 2612), GM Maxim Rodshtein (ISR, 2590), IM Ediz Gurel (TUR, 2560), GM R Vaishali (2481), IM Richard Stalmach (CZE, 2434), IM Vaclav Finek (CZE, 2429) and IM Stepan Hrbek (CZE, 2426).

The Challengers participants


The reigning National Under-11 Open champion, Aansh Nandan Nerurkar (1786) will be the sole Indian player in the Futures section.

Aansh Nandan Nerurkar got number five at the draw of lots

Innovative Draw of lots

Organizers implemented a very nice idea at the Draw of Lots. A participant from the Futures group is called to burst the balloon which contains a photo of a player from the Masters group. The Masters player comes and draws their number. They are paired. At the end of the event, the pair with the highest score will be awarded trophies. This is such a beautiful idea which will certainly inspired the Futures player and also create good memories for the Masters participants.

The novel idea at the Opening Ceremony of Prague Masters 2024 | Video: ChessBase India

A player from the Futures group is about to burst the balloon

Pairings and Schedule

The Round-Robin tournaments will take place from 27th February to 7th March 2024. Every day except the last round, games will start at 3 p.m. local time, 7:30 p.m. IST. Sunday 3rd March is a rest day. The ninth round game on 7th March will start at 11 a.m. local time, 3:30 p.m. IST.

Photo Gallery

Inauguration Ceremony

Vishy Anand making the inaugural first move
An epic Vishy Anand interview | Video: ChessBase India

The legend GM Susan Polgar and her better half - Paul Truong with their student in the middle

R Praggnanandhaa drew number five as Aansh Nandan Nerurkar holds his photo

Vidit Gujrathi with his second - GM Daniele Vocaturo (ITA)
Vidit Gujrathi Solves the Czech Republic Trivia | Video: ChessBase India

Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) and D Gukesh is certainly one of the highly anticipated clash

Nodirbek Abdusattorov picks up his number

Vincent Keymer (GER) got number six

Richard Rapport (ROU) drew number eight

GM Mateusz Bartel (POL) won the Challengers section last year

GM R Vaishali about to draw her number

Vincent Keymer with his trainer - GM Peter Leko (HUN)

WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili (GEO), our very own co-founder and one half of the official commentator - IM Sagar Shah

India's first Grandmaster brother-sister duo - R Praggnanandhaa and R Vaishali

Vidit Gujrathi and Daniele Vocaturo listen to Peter Leko with rapt attention

For more photos, please click here.

Pragg, Vidit, Gukesh are all in Prague | Video: ChessBase India

Round 1 Masters pairings

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMVidit Santosh GujrathiGMNavara David
GMAbdusattorov NodirbekGMNguyen Thai Dai Van
GMGukesh DGMRapport Richard
GMBartel MateuszGMMaghsoodloo Parham
GMPraggnanandhaa RGMKeymer Vincent


Round 1 Challengers pairings

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMMishra AbhimanyuIMGurel Ediz
GMRodshtein MaximGML'ami Erwin
IMFinek VaclavIMStalmach Richard
GMSantos Latasa JaimeIMHrbek Stepan
GMKorobov AntonIMVaishali Rameshbabu


Round 1 Futures pairings

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
Peglau Paul DavidSiskou Evangelia
Andre TomasBrzezina Pawel
Jakubse Tamae SeverinaStara Zuzana
Markina SofiiaMrozowski Nikodem
Aansh Nandan NerurkarGuntaka Aayansh R


Time Control

The time control is 90'/40 moves + 30'/end & 30"/move.


Official site

Tournament Regulations: Masters, Challengers and Open

Prague Chess Festival: fbtwitter, instagram and youtube

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