John Saunders reports: a pulsating last round of the 2023 FIDE Grand Swiss at the Villa Marina, Douglas, Isle of Man, saw a remarkable victory for Vidit Gujrathi, who defeated Alexandr Predke to score 8½ out of 11 and take first place despite a first-round loss. This stunning result qualifies the 29-year-old Indian grandmaster for the 2024 World Championship Candidates tournament in Toronto, Canada, next April. The second qualifying place in the Candidates went to Hikaru Nakamura who drew his game with Arjun Erigaisi to finish second in the tournament with 8 points. Indian chess celebrated a double success as first place in the FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss was taken by Rameshbabu Vaishali who drew with Batkhuyag Munguntuul to score 8½ out of 11, ahead of Anna Muzychuk in second place on 8 and Tan Zhongyi in third place on 7½. Vaishali had secured her place in the 2024 Women’s Candidates with a round to spare, and Tan Zhongyi took the second place since Anna Muzychuk had already qualified for the FIDE Women’s Candidates from the FIDE Women’s World Cup.
John Saunders reports: round 10, the penultimate round of the 2023 FIDE Grand Swiss and Women’s Grand Swiss, was a remarkable feast of chess as the top seven boards in the open tournament ended decisively, while six of the ten top boards in the Women’s Grand Swiss ended similarly. At the end of the round, Hikaru Nakamura, Vidit Gujrathi and Andrey Esipenko lead the FIDE Grand Swiss on 7½/10, while three further players, Arjun Erigaisi, Alexandr Predke and Vincent Keymer are tucked in behind the leaders on 7, with everything to play for in the final round. In the FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss, Rameshbabu Vaishali remains the sole leader on 8/10, Anna Muzychuk is on 7½, and Batkhuyag Munguntuul is on 7. The fact that Anna Muzychuk is already qualified for the 2024 Women’s Candidates’ Tournament in Toronto next April means that Rameshbabu Vaishali knows she too is now certain of one of the two qualification spots for the same event as only one player can now reach her score.
John Saunders reports: Round nine of the FIDE Grand Swiss, played at the Villa Marina, Douglas, Isle of Man on 3 November 2023, saw the group of leaders increase from four to six. Those six are Fabiano Caruana, Bogdan-Daniel Deac, Vidit Gujrathi, Andrey Esipenko, Hikaru Nakamura (who beat Ivan Cheparinov) and Parham Maghsoodloo (who beat Alexey Sarana). They have 6½/9, with a further six players half a point behind them: Alexandr Predke, Yuriy Kuzubov, Arjun Erigaisi, Vincent Keymer, Samuel Sevian and Vladimir Fedoseev on 6. The FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss now has a sole leader, Rameshbabu Vaishali, who beat Antoaneta Stefanova, and leads on 7/9, with Tan Zhongyi and Anna Muzychuk trailing her on 6½. Two rounds remain. Round 10 is scheduled for the normal time of 1430 GMT on Saturday 4 November.