Tata Steel India, Day 1: Aronian starts with 3.0/3

by André Schulz
11/18/2021 – Levon Aronian had a very good start at the 3. Tata Steel India Chess Festival: with wins against Vidit Gujrathi, Sam Shankland and Baskaran Adhiban he began the rapid tournament with 3.0/3. The festival is played at the Indian National Library in Kolkata and the enthusiasm is great though only a limited number of spectators are admitted. | Photos: Lennart Ootes

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The 3rd Tata Steel India Chess Festival in Kolkata started 17 November and will finish on 21 November. Headliners are a rapid tournament and a blitz tournament with top international grandmasters and Indian talent. In addition to the two invitational tournaments, the supporting programme includes open rapid and blitz tournaments, limited to 150 participants each.

An illustrious field

The two top tournaments will be played with ten participants each. Six players will take part in both tournaments: Levon Aronian, Sam Shankland, Parham Maghsoodloo, Le Quam Liem, Vidit Gujrathi and Baskaran Adhiban. Also playing in the rapid tournament are Praggnanandhaa, his sister Vaishali, Arjun Erigaisi and Karthikeyan Murali.

In the blitz tournament, Nihal Sarin, Gukesh, Raunak Sadhwani and Harika Dronavalli are participating as Indian representatives. The young Indian talents will be coached by Viswanathan Anand. The 15th World Champion is the guest of honour at the event.

The round begins

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The theatre hall in the Indian National Library, on whose stage the players play their games, offers enough space for a large crowd of spectators. 2019, during the last edition of the tournament, the hall was filled to capacity. This year, however, the number of spectators allowed was severely limited due to the ongoing pandemic.

Day 1 began with the first three rounds of the rapid tournament. Levon Aronian got off to the best start and was the only player to win all three games, although he did have strong opponents in Vidit, Shankland and Adhiban.

Levon Aronian

Praggnanandhaa, Vidit and Erigaisi, finished the first day with 2.0/3, and now share second to fourth place.

The only female participant is Praggnanandhaa's elder sister Vaishali, who scored her only half point against her "little brother" after a tough game in which both sides wanted to win.


With 0.5/3 she is half a point ahead of Baskharan Adhiban, who had a bad start and lost all of his three games.

In round 1 Adhiban lost against Vidit:

Sagar Shah and Tania Sachdev commentate live and welcome guests.

The commentators

Chess is fun! Tania Sachdev, Anand, and Sagar Shah

Live commentary by ChessBase India




Tournament page...

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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