Anand, Vidit Gujrathi in FIDE Grand Swiss League field

India’s Grandmasters (GM) Viswanathan Anand, Vidit Gujrathi, Pentala Harikrishna and Bhaskaran Adhiban have qualified for the FIDE Grand Swiss league, which is one of the qualifying events for the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2022 the winner of which will challenge the World Champion in 2023.

The FIDE Grand Swiss League will take place in Riga, Latvia from October 25 to November 8, 2021.

The Indian quartet features among the top 114 players, who will figure in an 11 round Swiss format. Qualification for the event was based on the players’ average rating from June 2020 to July 2021.

GM Harika Dronavalli has qualified for the women’s Swiss League which will feature World’s top 50 players.

The FIDE Grand Swiss league is an important event as the top two finishers in the men’s and women’s category will qualify for the Candidates 2022 and stand a chance to challenge the World Champion. Gujrathi has also qualified for the FIDE Grand Prix 2022 after reaching the last-eight stage at the Chess World Cup 2021 and thus has two shots to book his spot at the prestigious Candidates 2022.

In the men’s section, Indian players Krishnan Sasikaran, SP Sethuraman and Aravindh Chithambaram are among the reserves. IM Vaishali R is on the reserve players list for the women’s section.

The Nashik-based Gujrathi was happy to have made it to the FIDE Grand Swiss field.

“I was confident that I would qualify for the Grand Swiss League considering my performance in the past year. It was a great feeling to play Classical chess at the World Cup and that too over the board. Indeed it is always a proud moment representing India and this time it was more special as I reached the quarter-finals. I am happy with my overall performance and looking forward to the next tournament. My aim is to play the best chess and qualify for the Candidates 2022,” he said in a release on Friday.

Gujrathi, the only Indian after Anand to qualify for the quarterfinals of the World Cup, was captain of the Indian Chess team which won a historic gold medal at the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad in 2020.

Employed with ONGC and supported by Lakshya Foundation and Bharat Forge, Gujrathi has won many tournaments and championships such as Tata Steel, Beil Grandmasters’ event, and Prague Masters in recent years. He is only the fourth Indian ever to cross the 2700 ELO rating in 2017 and is currently ranked NO. 23 in the World and NO. 2 in India.