Abhijeet, Vidit top rated Indians in Cappelle-La-Grande Open
Grandmasters Abhijeet Gupta and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi will spearhead the Indian challenge in the 31st edition of the traditional Cappelle La Grande chess tournament to start here in the French hamlet.
Cappelle La Grande, France: Grandmasters Abhijeet Gupta and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi will spearhead the Indian challenge in the 31st edition of the traditional Cappelle La Grande chess tournament to start here in the French hamlet.
A part of the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) team that clinched the National team championship just a couple of days ago in Goa, Abhijeet and Vidit will face a strong line-up here helmed by Chinese Li Chao, ranked 31st in the world.
Both Abhijeet and Vidit have an identical elo rating of 2625 points in the latest FIDE list.
The nine-round tournament will be played under FIDE's Swiss rules with over 400 players in the fray. The tournament has a total prize money of 30000 Euros with over 40 prizes up for grabs.
Besides Abhijeet and Vidit, Sandipan Chanda, G N Gopal, Sahaj Grover, S Arun Prasad, V Vishnu Prasanna, M R Venkatesh and S Kidambi are the other Indian Grandmasters to participate in the tournament.
It would be a tough test for the Indians though in a field that comprises more than 80 Grandmasters. Apart from the GMs, the numbers of titled players here exceed 130 making it one of the strongest opens held in Europe.
After a rather subdued performance in the Delhi International in February, the onus will be on former world junior champion Abhijeet, who is training his sights to enter the top 100 in world rankings. About 30 points shy of the coveted mark, he will have his task cut out.
Vidit is slowly but steadily climbing the ranking chart and the youngster is a force to reckon with. With his machine-like technique and rock solid openings, much can be expected from this Nasik-based Grandmaster.
Vishnu Prasanna and M R Venkatesh came up with fine performances in the Gibraltar International Open wherein they downed a few higher ranked opponents to up their ratings. Vishnu has been working hard and the improvement is evident in his game.
Sahaj Grover is the other young Indian Grandmaster who has raised expectations. Late last year, Sahaj finished joint first in the strong Durban International Open and then followed it up by coming in the Indian team in the National premier championship and then further strengthened himself with excellent result in the Al Ain Classic in UAE.
Things have not been so great for Sahaj in the new year but it is time for the Delhi youngster to make amends.