Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vidit sizzles in Lake Sevan

India's number four and one of the most promising youngsters Vidit Gujrathi is back in Martuni, Armenia to defend his title at the Lake Sevan invitational round robin tournament. Last year Vidit started as the seventh seed and overcame a stiff challenge from the likes of Areschenko, Kuzubov, Fedoseev etc. to win the event. In 2015, he is the second seed and one of the favourites to claim the top honours. And he gave a huge boost to his campaign scoring a win against the top seed Vladislav Artemiev on 13th of July.

With a rating of 2643, Vidit gained five Elo for his win against Artemiev and is inching towards the 2650 mark.

Vladislav Artemiev is just 17 years old and is deemed as one of the most talented youngsters in the world. His positional and endgame skills have been praised quite a bit and his skills have been compared to the likes of Capablanca and Kramnik. Just a few days ago he won the Russian Higher League and qualified for the Russian Super League which will see him battling with the likes of Svidler, Grischuk, Nepo and other top Russian players. 

Vladislav Artemiev, 2660 

It's natural to be intimidated when you face such a strong upcoming player. But Vidit is no new-comer when it comes to facing high class opponents. Ever since he has broken into 2600 which was in Jan 2014, his rating has constantly been on the rise and currently he is ranked number four in India (behind Anand, Hari and Negi) and 124th in the World.

Vidit realised that he mustn't play a positional game against Artemiev because that's where the Russian's strengths lie. He decided to go for the Russian system against the Grunfeld (5.Qb3) which is considered to be an active opening. He unleashed some sort of a novelty (played only once before) on the 14th move which must have come as a surprise to his opponent. After that move he kept playing purposeful chess to increase his advantage. He did make a few errors in the middlegame but his position always remained more pleasant. In the end he crowned his victory with a queen sacrifice which instantly forced his opponent to resign the game! Let's have a look at the game!

The usual way to play in such positions is with 14.Rg1 but Vidit played 14. 0-0!?, a move that has only been played once before.

White to play and finish off the game in style!

Of course Qxg6! came crashing on the board and Artemiev could do nothing but to resign the game.

That's the level of focus you require if you want to beat a 2660 opponent! Vidit at the start of the game.

The game under progress

This is how things stand after two rounds

The Lake Sevan tournament is extremely strong and it will be interesting to follow the battles of this young boy from Nashik. You can find all the results of the tournament over here. Every game begins at 4.30 PM IST. You can see the games live on this website or if you have an android smart phone then you must download the follow chess app. You can download this wonderful app from here.

Vidit Gujrathi analyzes with the author of these lines in World Junior 2014 as IM Prathamesh Mokal looks on.

Before I take your leave I would like to show you just one position from the game of the Spaniard Anton Guijarro who is leading the tournament.
Anton Guijarro vs Salem Saleh.
What would you play as White?

A non creative player like me would go for moves like 7.Bb5+ or 7.d4 but not a talented young 20-year-old Spanish GM. Anton Guijarro went for 7.b4! in the style of wing gambit against the Sicilian or French! Salem refused the pawn and pushed ahead with 7...c4. But if he had taken 7...cxb4, White's compensation is quite apparent after 8.Bb2 as the bishop on f8 cannot really move!

David Anton Guijarro, 2626 
With such creative young players participating in this event, the viewers are in for a ball! And what's better, we have an Indian to cheer for! Go Vidit!

Further reading:
Lake Sevan 2014: Vidit Gujrathi triumphs
Interview with GM Vidit Gujrathi

Pictures from official website and Amruta Mokal
Check out Amruta's photography page


  1. superb...what a beautiful positional middlegame by vidit!!!

  2. Official Tournament site, http://sevan.chessacademy.am/

  3. mast game hai sagar viditka!!!