Unsuccessful Performance of Indian Chess Players at FIDE Grand Prix 2022

The FIDE Grand Prix 2022 consists of three tournaments in Berlin, Belgrade and Berlin again. Two players scoring the most points participate in the Candidates Tournament 2022. Unfortunately, Indian chess players cannot make it this time. The first two tournaments are over, the last in Berlin is approaching. But each Grand Prix competitor only performs in two of them. The two Indian chess players have already participated in the first two competitions and will not participate in the last one.

India was featured by Vidit Gujrathi, currently No. 25 in the FIDE rating, and Pentala Harikrishna, No. 26. They are India’s second and third grandmasters after Anand. But the tournament is over for them now. Viswanathan Anand, who is India’s leading active chess star and multiple world chess champion, currently number 15 in the FIDE rating, did not participate in the Grand Prix.

According to the betting companies, American chess players Levon Aronian and Anish Giri from the Netherlands had the highest chances of winning the 2022 FIDE Grand Prix. Indian chess players were not considered the favorites of this tournament. You can read presentations of bookmaking companies, including those that include chess, at bookmaker-ratings.net.za.

In the case of the FIDE Grand Prix, the bookmakers’ predictions were not entirely accurate. After two stages, Richard Rapport from Hungary is at the top of the rankings, although bookmaker analysts expected him to have less of a chance than Aronian or Giri.

It’s not like Vidit Gujrathi performed poorly: he scored seven Grand Prix points in two competitions. In the group competition in Europe, they won one match and lost another, and had four draws. Levon Aronian was the star of his group C, Vidit took second place. Aronian reached the final and surrendered to Hikaru Nakamura, another American grandmaster. In Belgrade he lost twice to Richard Rapport (Hungary) but beat both Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia) and Alexey Shirov (Spain) playing white and drew playing black. Such results did not let him leave the group. He remained second to Rapport, who ended up winning the Belgrade tournament.

Pentala Harikrishna had inferior results: he could not win a single match out of the twelve he played in Berlin and Belgrade. It has drawn nine games and lost three. Such a performance only earned Pental two points in the Grand Prix.

As a result, Vidit Gujrathi and Pentala Harikrishna could not be selected for the Candidates Tournament Madrid 2022, unlike two winners of the FIDE Grand Prix 2022, as well as Ian Nepomniaschtchi (Russia), Teimur Rajabov (Azerbaijan), Jan -Krzysztof Duda (Poland), Sergei Karyakin (Russia), Alireza Firusia (France) and Fabiano Caruana (USA). Indian players will not participate in this tournament.

The nearest upcoming major FIDE tournaments that will include Indian chess players will be competitions for children and young people: World Cadet Championships U8, U10, U12 Rapid & Blitz 2022, and World Championships U14, U16, U18 Rapid & Blitz 2022. Both events will take place from April 30 to May 4 in Rhodes, Greece. The next big competition for adults will be the 44th Chess Olympiad, which will take place in Chennai, India, from July 26 to August 8, 2022.

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