World Cup runner-up R Praggnanandhaa was the best Indian with an overall third place finish, while world champion Alexander Grischuk reigned supreme to clinch the Open Blitz title of the Tata Steel Chess India 2023, on Saturday. Unbeaten in four games, Praggnanandhaa was in the lead but he suffered defeats against Nodirbek Abdusattorov (13th round), Grischuk (15th) and Vidit Gujrathi (16th) that proved costly. Erigaisi was the second best Indian with an overall fourth finish with 10 and a half points. India’s No 1 D Gukesh suffered six defeats from nine rounds on the final day that included one against his closest rival Praggnanandhaa in the penultimate round, to end with a disappointing eighth place finish.
But he recovered well posting wins over Praggnanandhaa and German prodigy Vincent Keymer to finish on top with 12 points, with a quick draw over Pentala Harikrishna in the final and 18th round.
The two-time world blitz champion Grischuk suffered the only loss of the tournament when he was stunned by the rising Indian Arjun Erigaisi in the 13th round.
Former world Rapid champion Abdusattorov finished with three points with Praggnanandhaa, but the Uzbek secured a big win over Gujrathi to edge past the Indian sensation on tiebreaks.
Praggnanandhaa began the day on a positive note when he outwitted Rapid section’s runner-up Teimour Radjabov with a fine attacking game.
In the 11th round, he held Rapid champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and continued his fun run with a win over Keymer iin the next round.
The Indian’s four-game unbeaten streak was brought to an end by Abdusattorov in the 13 round that also saw the upset of the day by Erigaisi.
In round 15, Grischuk edged out Praggnanandhaa with the black pieces, while the Indian’s shock defeat came in the final round when he lost a crucial match against fellowmate Gujrathi to slip to third place.
The winners: Women’s, Rapid: 1. Divya Deshmukh, 2. Ju Wenjun; Blitz: 1. Ju Wenjun, 2. Koneru Humpy Open, Rapid: 1. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 2. Teimour Radjabov; Blitz: 1. Alexander Grischuk, 2. Nodirbek Abdusattorov. PTI TAP DDV
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