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Round 11 Report

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.

Round 10 Report

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.

Round 9 Report

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.

Round 8 Report

John Saunders reports: Round eight of the FIDE Grand Swiss, held at the Villa Marina, Douglas, Isle of Man, on Thursday 2 November 2023, started with one leader, Vidit Gujrathi, but ended with four as the sole leader drew with Hikaru Nakamura, while Bogdan-Daniel Deac beat Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Andrey Esipenko beat Vincent Keymer and, finally, top seed Fabiano Caruana beat Etienne Bacrot to catch Vidit and reach 6/8. A further nine players are on 5½. In the FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss, the joint leaders from round seven, Anna Muzychuk, Rameshbabu Vaishali and Antoaneta Stefanova, remain in place with an extra half point each, 6/8, but the group behind them on 5½ now numbers four: Sophie Milliet, Tan Zhongyi, Leya Garifullina and Batkhuyag Munguntuul. A reminder that, because of special circumstances, round nine of the open starts at 11.30 on Friday while the women’s tournament starts at 13.00.

Round 7 Report

John Saunders reports: round seven, at the Villa Marina, Douglas, Isle of Man on 1 November, saw the FIDE Grand Swiss competitors return from the rest day suitably reenergised, judging from the rich crop of long games which ensued. The shortest of the top ten boards in the open Grand Swiss lasted 48 moves and the average length was 63 moves for those games. Emerging leader from this sterling struggle was Vidit Gujrathi who beat Javokhir Sindarov with Black to assume the first place on his own. Vidit Gujrathi has 5½/7. No fewer than 11 players now stand on 5/7. The FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss also saw some tough battles, with the upshot being that that Rameshbabu Vaishali and Antoaneta Stefanova joined the previous leader Anna Muzychuk on 5½/7, while Aleksandra Goryachkina and Sophie Milliet are on 5.

Round 6 Report

John Saunders reports: After round six of the FIDE Grand Swiss at the Villa Marina, Douglas, on 30 October, there is a pile-up of eight players on 4½/6 after the three overnight leaders all drew. The leaders are now Andrey Esipenko, Hikaru Nakamura, Arjun Erigaisi, Fabiano Caruana, Javokhir Sindarov, Alexandr Predke, Vidit Gujrathi and Radoslaw Wojtaszek. In the FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss Bibisara Assaubayeva lost to Anna Muzychuk, which meant they swapped places on the leader board. Anna Muzychuk leads with 5/6, with Bibisara Assaubayeva, Rameshbabu Vaishali, Aleksandra Goryachkina and Antoaneta Stefanova on 4½. Tomorrow (Tuesday 31 October) is a rest day, with round seven scheduled for 1430 GMT on Wednesday 1 November.

Round 5 Report

After round five of the FIDE Grand Swiss, held at the Villa Marina on 29 October, Arjun Erigaisi, Andrey Esipenko and Hikaru Nakamura now share the lead on 4/5, with 16 players half a point further back as Nakamura defeated Alexey Sarana, Erigaisi beat Rinat Jumabayev whilst the other 12 top boards were all drawn. In the FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss there is now a sole leader after Bibisara Assaubayeva overcame former women’s world champion Tan Zhongyi to reach 4½/5. On 4/5 are Anna Muzychuk, Rameshbabu Vaishali and Aleksandra Goryachkina. Six rounds remain.

Round 4 Report

John Saunders reports: Things livened up considerably in round four of the FIDE Grand Swiss, with four decisive games on the top ten boards. A new clear leader has emerged from the ten players who were tied on 2½/3 after three rounds, in the shape of Andrey Esipenko, who beat the new world junior champion Marc’andria Maurizzi to reach 3½/4. No fewer than 17 players are on 3/4, including the top three seeds, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Alireza Firouzja. In the FIDE Women's Grand Swiss, which featured 17 decisive games from 25 played, four players share the lead on 3½/4: Tan Zhongyi, Anna Muzychuk, Bibisara Assaubayeva and Rameshbabu Vaishali, with top seed Aleksandra Goryachkina amongst five players on 3.

FIDE Grand Swiss: Round 3 Report

John Saunders reports: Today (27 October) saw a quieter round in the FIDE Grand Swiss at the Villa Marina, Douglas, with just one decisive game on the top 12 boards. By contrast, the FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss was a bloodthirsty affair, with eight decisive games amongst the top 12 boards. After the day’s battles ended, no fewer than ten players share the lead in the Grand Swiss with 2½/3, while two players, Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine) and Tan Zhongyi (China), head the field in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix with a maximum 3/3.

Round 2 Report

John Saunders reports: Top seed Fabiano Caruana scored another stunning victory in round two of the FIDE Grand Swiss on Thursday 26 October at the Villa Marina, Douglas, taking himself back above 2800 on the unofficial live rating list. He defeated a fellow US grandmaster, Hans Niemann, and is now amongst seven players on the maximum score of 2/2. In the Women’s Grand Swiss, the numbers 4 and 5 seeds, Tan Zhongyi and Anna Muzychuk, are setting the pace, along with three other players with maximum scores.


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FIDE Grand Swiss: Round 11 report
Published: 06 Nov 2023

Round 11 Report

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.


Read more ...
FIDE Grand Swiss: Round 10 Report
Published: 05 Nov 2023

Round 10 Report

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.


Read more ...
FIDE Grand Swiss: Round 9 Report
Published: 04 Nov 2023

Round 9 Report

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.


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