Maharashtra Match – Rounds 1 + 2

by ChessBase
6/3/2023 – India's young talents Vidit Gujrathi and Raunak Sadhwani got off to a great start in round one, when they defeated veterans Peter Svidler and Nigel Short respectively in the first classical game. In round two Nigel and Peter bounced back by scoring emphatic victories over Raunak and Vidit. The match score is now 1-1. Our report has extensive videos by ChessBase India, including interviews with the players. The photos are by Shahid Ahmed.

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World class matches in Maharashtra

From the 1st to the 6th of June 2023, as a part of the Maharashtra Chess Festival, two matches between world class players are taking place in Nagpur, India. The first is between India's no.3 GM Vidit Gujrathi, who is taking on the eight-time Russian Champion Peter Svidler. The second is between the top rated junior from the state, Raunak Sadhwani, and former World Championship Challenger Nigel Short.

The format of the matches is four classical games, four rapid games and eight blitz games. The point scoring system is three points for a win in the classical games, two points for a win in the rapid format and one point for the win in blitz.

The time control for the classical game is 90 minutes + 30 minutes (after move 40) with 30 seconds of increment per move. The time control for Rapid is 15 minutes + 10 seconds increment and the time control for blitz is 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment. The event is FIDE rated. Here are the match-ups.

  • Vidit Gujrathi vs Peter Svidler - Rs.1,600,000
  • Raunak Sadhwani vs Nigel Short - Rs.500,000

Round one

Vidit Gujrathi had the white pieces against Peter Svidler in their first game of the Maharashtra Chess Challenge 2023. What a game this was! We had a decisive result. Check out the battle along with the commentary of IM Sagar Shah and learn from the great positional mastery that was on show!

Vidit played a brilliant positional pawn sacrifice. How did he manage to find this move? And what was the logic behind it. Vidit tells us about it in this interview:

It was a battle of generations as Nigel Short, the former World Championship challenger, celebrating his 58th birthday took on 17-year-old talent Raunak Sadhwani in the Maharashtra Challenge 2023 match. The first classical game ended with a queen sacrifice and a back rank mate. How did it happen? Check out in this video.

Raunak played the Sicilian Taimanov. On the 7th move he unleashed himself with a dangerous move ...h5. From that point onwards, Nigel was unable to handle his position, and step by step he simply went down. What happened and how it all panned out. Check it out in the interview with Raunak:

Round two

Peter Svidler got cleanly outplayed in the first game of his match against Vidit Gujrathi. Would Peter be able to survive Vidit's play was the question on everyone's mind. The Russian GM answered this question confidently as he found an amazing move in the middlegame to beat his opponent. What was that move. Why was it so deep? We try to analyze it in this game. We bring you the entire footage of the game along with the commentary of IM Sagar Shah:

And check out this interview with Peter Svidler:

In the other match Nigel Short showed he has never lost his touch, he is a legend after all, equalling the score with a fine black pieces victory.

Here are the games from the first two rounds:


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