Indian grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi holds world champion Magnus Carlsen to draw at prestigious tournament
What's the story?
On Friday, at the Isle of Man Chess tournament, Indian grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi drew with world champion Magnus Carlsen in his first ever meeting with the Norwegian in the classical format. With this draw, Gujrathi stays in joint-second spot.
Playing with black pieces, the 22-year old Nashik resident ensured that he does not make any errors and secured a draw against Carlsen
In case you didn't know
Carlsen remains in the lead with six points from a possible seven with two rounds to go. Meanwhile, Gujrathi is joint second with US GMs Fabiano Caruana and Hiraku Nakamura, Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine and Emil Sutovsky of Israel. Caruana, Nakamura, Eljanov and Sutovsky won their respective matches.
The heart of the matter
As mentioned earlier, this was Gujrathi's first encounter against the world champion in a classical game. The two met once before in a rapid game at the World Rapid Championship in Qatar 2016. Carlsen had won that game.
The odds were heavily against the young Indian. Not only is Carlsen the current world champion, he is also rated 125 points above Gujrathi. But he defied expectations and huge odds to bring the game to a stalemate against the Norwegian.
Meanwhile, fellow Indians had a mixed result with Viswanathan Anand drawing against Aleksandr Lenderman. Grand Master Swapnil Dhopade was facing Richard Rapport and the match was tense. Rapport went on the attack straightaway but Dhopade was unfazed. Surprisingly, the two players agreed to settle for a draw as well.
Other Indians in the fray, D Harika, Aravindh Chithambaram and R Praggnanandhaa suffered reversals against higher ranked opponents. Tomorrow is the final day of the tournament and the competition is fiercer than ever.
Can Carlsen defend his six-point lead? Can Gujrathi and the other players catch him?
Going up against a world champion is no easy task. Especially in a thinking person's game like chess, the games can swing either way. We have seen 12-year olds taking on and defeating players twice their age. Chess never ceases to surprise anyone.