Gukesh wins Vidit Chess Tour in Armageddon

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
3/8/2021 – Indian prodigy Gukesh D won the Vidit Chess Tour after beating Aronyak Ghosh in the Armageddon decider of the final match. The players drew all four rapid games and went to sudden death. The 14-year-old eventual winner played white and won the game to take home the US$ 1,000 first prize. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

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Narayanan S.L. gets third place

The “Vidit Chess Tour” took place on March 4-7 as a qualifying event for the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. Sixteen Indian players participated in the online knockout tournament played on the chess24 platform. They qualified to the event by playing preliminary blitz tournaments. The first two players from each blitz open tournament qualified to the knockout.

Vidit Chess TourHalf of them got a spot in the Indian Qualifiers of the Champions Chess Tour.

  • 1st place: Gukesh D
  • 2nd place: Aronyak Ghosh
  • 3rd place: Narayanan S.L.
  • 4th place: Arjun Erigaisi 
  • 5th-8th places: Visakh N R
  • 5th-8th places: Guha Mitrabha
  • 5th-8th places: Praggnanandhaa R
  • 5th-8th places: Harsha Bharathakoti

Gukesh and Aronyak reached the final after knocking out Narayanan S.L. and Arjun Erigaisi respectively. While Gukesh defeated his opponent — an online blitz specialist — in Armageddon, Aronyak moved on to the final thanks to a 1½:½ victory.

In the two stages previous to the final, each match consisted of two games with a time limit of 15 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. The final consisted of four such games.

All four rapid games in the final finished drawn, with both players missing big chances to get ahead on the scoreboard. In the Armageddon decider, White got 5 minutes to Black’s 4, with Black getting draw odds. Gukesh was playing white and had a massive advantage by move 43, as he was a knight up in a simplified position:

 

As we know all too well by now, it is all about time management and blunders in these situations. Here, Gukesh gave up his advantage with 44.Bd4+, when Black can play 44...Kxg6 and restore material equality after 45.Qe3 exf3 46.Qxf3.

In the diagrammed position, 44.Qd4+ was the most accurate (44...Bf6 45.Bxh6+ Kxg6 46.Nh4+ Bxh4 47.Qg7+), but 44.Qd1 or 44.Qe2 were also good.

The game continued 46...Bf6 (another blunder, allowing 47.Bxf6 Kxf6 48.g4) 47.Be3:

 

A mouse-slip put an end to the game, as Aronyak played 47...Qc5 allowing 48.Bxc5.

Fans following the live stream called this an anticlimactic finish to a well-fought knockout tournament. It is in fact unfortunate that one of the players lost the final by hanging his queen while trying to avoid losing on time, but we should not forget that this was only the final game of a tour that included preliminary tournaments and a knockout stage that mimicked the rapid time control used in the Champions Chess Tour.

Congratulations to Gukesh, the second youngest GM in history, on winning the event.

Narayanan S.L. defeated Arjun in the match for third place. The players traded wins with black in the rapid encounters and also decided the match in sudden death. Narayanan S.L., well-known for his strength in online blitz, played white and convincingly defeated his opponent. 


All games - Knockout

 

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.

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