ChessBase India Originals Death Match - Anish Giri vs Vidit Gujrathi

by Sagar Shah
7/25/2022 – On 26 July 2022, the chess world will be treated to a unique show: the ChessBase India Originals Death Match between Anish Giri and Vidit Gujrathi. The Death Match will be held at the Dublin Square in the Phoenix Marketcity, Mumbai. What is the format of the match, what is the prize money, who are the hosts and commentators of the show, are there any exhibition matches? Find all the relevant information in the article. A rapid tournament and simuls will also take place.

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The Caro Kann is a very tricky opening. Black’s play is based on controlling and fighting for key light squares. It is a line which was very fashionable in late 90s and early 2000s due to the successes of greats like Karpov, Anand, Dreev etc. Recently due to strong engines lot of key developments have been made and some new lines have been introduced, while others have been refuted altogether. I have analyzed the new trends carefully and found some new ideas for Black.

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The first ever OTB event by ChessBase India

I sit with nervous excitement inside the Phoenix Marketcity typing away this article that you are reading. Generally, I sit in my workroom at home and write articles, but this article is like no other. It contains the launch of one of our dream projects - the ChessBase India Originals - Death Match between Anish Giri and Vidit Gujrathi. It’s a project that we at ChessBase India dreamt of before the pandemic set in. A 1 vs 1 match between two strong players in the world of chess. High quality, fasted paced chess, with exciting commentary and an unparalleled experience for the viewers who decide to attend the event from the venue. You clearly see, why I am excited, don’t you?

The players

Two of my favourites players will be facing off against each other. While the Dutch no.1 and World no.9 Anish Giri is the favourite on paper, you can never discount the India no.3 and world no.28 Vidit Gujrathi. When Vidit is motivated, it’s not easy to stop him. When the Chess Olympiad came to India, I asked Anish Giri if he would be coming to India to represent the Netherlands team. When he responded in the affirmative I asked him if he would be keen to participate in the death match. Being the wonderful sport that he is, Anish agreed. Vidit was also keen and so the players were on board.

Lassi Boys! Anish Giri and Vidit Gujrathi have a long standing friendship between them. Vidit was Anish's second for a few years and the Indian has credited the Dutch GM for helping him reach 2700 Elo mark in the past.

While Anish Giri and Vidit Gujrathi might be great friends of each other off the board...

....when they sit opposite each other, they both want to prove their superiority as chess players!

The venue

The next question was the venue. Where to organise the event? Well, we have now completed 15 weeks of the ChessBase India Chess Club at the Phoenix Marketcity in Mumbai! So I asked Gaurav Mistry (the man behind making the chess club happen in the Phoenix Marketcity mall) if we could do it in Dublin Square. The management at the Phoenix marketcity readily agreed. And we had one of the most amazing venues in the city!

This is how Dublin square looks when it is packed to the brim!

The hosts of the show

The entire show will be hosted by Samay Raina, Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal. Samay is one of the most well-known stand-up comedians of India and is also a huge chess lover and promoter. He has played a huge role to make chess more popular in the pandemic. Apart from the online commentary that we will do on the ChessBase India channel, we will also interact with the players in between the games and also with the crowd to get their on ground reactions and opinions!

Exhibition Match

Four stand-up comedians who played a massive role in making chess popular are Samay Raina, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Vaibhav Sethia and Anirban Dasgupta. In order to thank them, the OG gang will be present at the venue and will indulge in a 10 minute vs 10 minute hand and brain match! It will be the cool and calm team of Biswa and Vaibhav vs the aggressive and attacking team of Samay and Anirban.

The co-owner of Quintessential Queens in Chess Super League - Suhani Shah will also come to see two of her good friends Anish Giri and Vidit Gujrathi fight it out against each other! 

The high level of production and unique in person experience

The stage where the players will play will be converted into a boxing ring and a chess board will be placed in the center of it. After every game, there will be a short break, where the players will retire into the corner of the ring, re-energize and come back for the next bout! We will have plenty of screens in the hall which will give you a close-up view of what is happening and we will also make arrangements that all the people who come to the venue can tune-in to the commentary. Apart from this all, we will also stream the event on YouTube, so you will be able to watch it on the ChessBase India channel from your home as well. But if you come to the Dublin Square in Mumbai, we promise you an experience like no other!

The format of the match

The ChessBase India Originals, we hope will be a successful series and if that happens to be the case, one of our important aims is to give our top Indian players a chance to fight it out against world class players in a match format. It will give Indian players great exposure and help them be more confident in future in match-play format. This is how the format of the match is going to be:

Segment 1 - Originals segment

Game 1 - Blindfold game : The players will not be able to see their board or touch the pieces for any means during the game. They will call out the moves and press the clock. There will be only one game in this round and will be played with the time control of 7 minutes + 5 seconds increment from move 1

Game 2 - Rapid game: A normal game of rapid with the time control 7 minutes + 2 seconds increment

Game 3 - No Castle Chess: The players will not be able to castle in the game. The violation will be penalized as an illegal move. All the necessary actions and penalties for illegal moves will be applicable as per FIDE laws of Chess for Blitz Games. There will be only one game in this round and will be played with the time control of 7 minutes + 2 seconds increment from move 1.

Game 4 - Chess 960: The players are given a random position from 960 combinations of Starting positions commonly known as Fischer Random. There will be only one game in this round and will be played with the time control of 7 minutes + 2 seconds increment from move 1.

Segment 2 - Blitz segment

The players are given a total time of 60 minutes for this segment. There will be back to back games with the time control of 4 minutes + 2 seconds increment from move 1. In case the allotted time of 60 minutes gets over, the ongoing game will be continued until it ends with a valid result (Draw / Win / Loss). Most likely we will have 6 games in this segment.

Segment 3 - Bullet segment

The players are given a total time of 30 minutes for this round. There will be back to back games with the time control of 1 minutes + 2 seconds increment from move 1. In case the allotted time of 30 minutes gets over, the ongoing game will be continued until it ends with a valid result (Draw / Win / Loss). Most likely there will be 8 games in this segment.

Segment 4 : Armageddon (If needed)

If scores are tied after all the finishing all the rounds as mentioned above, the Armageddon will take place. White will have 5 minutes time and black will have 4 minutes time. The white player needs to win the game in order to win the Tournament. Draw is sufficient for a black player for winning the tournament.

Additional rules

Points: All games will have a uniform scoring system of 1 - ½ - 0 (Win - Draw - Loss).

Colors: The colors will be decided by toss before the first game of the battle. In case of multiple games in a round, the players will have to play with alternating colors (e.g. If Vidit plays White in Game - 1 of Round of Blitz 1, he will play with Black pieces in Game 2 of Round of Blitz 1 and so on).

No draw rule: No draw offers to be made. The person who offers a draw will be penalized with a loss.

Prize money

The total prize fund of the match is Rs. 800,000. The winner gets Rs.500,000 and the runner-up gets Rs.300,000.

Schedule of the match

Arrival of spectators and settling down: 5 p.m.

Exhibition match: 5.20 p.m.

Death Match begins - 5.55 p.m.

Segment 1 : 6.00 p.m.

Segment 2 : 7.30 p.m.

Segment 3 : 8.45 p.m.

Segment 4 (if needed) : 9.30 p.m.

The festival - rapid event and Tandem simul

We also wanted to give you, dear viewers a chance to play. Hence, one day before the death match we will be organizing a rapid event from 9 a.m. on 25th of July 2022 that will be open to all players. The total prize fund of the event is Rs.50,000 + there will be attractive trophies! But the biggest prize for all those participating is the top 10 players get a chance to fight it out against Anish Giri and Vidit Gujrathi.

The prize money, time control and the schedule of the rapid event on 25th of July! Please note: In case of a tie in scores - the tiebreak used will be buch-holz

Top 10 players of the above tournament will be selected and 10 more spots will be decided by the organizers for a 20-player tandem clock simul with Anish Giri and Vidit Gujrathi on 25th of July 2022 at 5 p.m.

Anish and Vidit will get 45 minutes and their opponents also will get 45 minutes to play a tandem clock simul. What does a tadem simul mean? It means Anish and Vidit, anyone can play a move on any board! The scene will be like two hungry lions moving around in a circular section aiming to finish off their opponents!

Tickets:

We have tied up with PayTM Insider for you to get a smooth experience with regards to the tickets for the death match and the rapid tournament. If you just want to attend the death match, the cost of the ticket is Rs.499 and if you would like to attend the death match and play the rapid tournament, the cost of it will be Rs.799. You can get it from the link below:

Buy the tickets to this first of its kind chess show!

Thank you dear Janta, for supporting chess so dearly! It is because of your interest in the sport that we have had the courage to organize such a big event! We hope that you will turn up at the venue and make this a huge success.

Please Note: As they will be going to the Chess Olympiad after this match, we will be following the strict Covid protocols when it comes to the safety of the players.


Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India website, the biggest chess news outlet in the country.
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