The 2022 FIDE Grand Prix consists of three tournaments in Berlin, Belgrade, and Berlin again. Two players scoring the most points participate in the Candidates Tournament 2022. Unfortunately, the Indian chess players cannot do it this time. The first two tournaments are over, the last one in Berlin is coming. But every Grand Prix contestant performs only in two of them. Both Indian chess players have already taken part in the first two competitions and will not participate in the last one.
India was presented by Vidit Gujrathi, currently No.25 on FIDE rating, and Pentala Harikrishna, No.26. They are the second and third Indian grandmasters after Anand. But the tournament is over for them now. Viswanathan Anand, who is the main active chess star of India and multiple chess world champion, currently number 15 on FIDE rating, didn’t take part in the Grand Prix.
According to bookmaking companies, American chess players Levon Aronian and Anish Giri from the Netherlands had the biggest chances of winning the FIDE Grand Prix 2022. Indian chess players were not considered favorites of this tournament. You can read bookmaking companies’ overviews, including those including chess, at bookmaker-ratings.net.za.
In the case of the FIDE Grand Prix, the bookmakers’ predictions were not completely accurate. After two stages Richard Rapport from Hungary is at the top of the leaderboard, even though bookmaking analysts predicted he had fewer chances than Aronian or Giri.
It is not as if Vidit Gujrathi performed badly: he scored seven Grand Prix points in two competitions. At the group competition in Europe, he won one game and lost another one, and had four draws. Levon Aronian was the star in his C group, Vidit took second place. Aronian reached the final and gave in to Hikaru Nakamura, another American grandmaster. In Belgrade, he lost twice to Richard Rapport (Hungary) but beat both Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia) and Alexey Shirov (Spain) playing white and made a draw playing black. Such results didn’t let him leave the group. He remained second after Rapport, who ended up winning the Belgrade tournament.
Pentala Harikrishna had lower results: he couldn’t win a single game out of the twelve he played in Berlin and Belgrade. He came to a draw in nine games and lost three. Such performance got Pental only two points in the Grand Prix.
As a result, Vidit Gujrathi and Pentala Harikrishna could not be selected to the Madrid Candidates Tournament 2022, unlike two winners of the FIDE Grand Prix 2022, as well as Ian Nepomniaschtchi (Russia), Teimur Rajabov (Azerbaijan), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland), Sergei Karyakin (Russia), Alireza Firusia (France) and Fabiano Caruana (USA). Indian players will not participate in this tournament.
The nearest upcoming major FIDE tournaments that will include Indian chess players will be childrens’ and youth competitions: World Cadet U8, U10, U12 Rapid & Blitz Championships 2022, and World Youth U14, U16, U18 Rapid & Blitz Championships 2022. Both events will take place from 30 April to 4 May in Rhodes, Greece. The next major competition for adults will be the 44th Chess Olympiad, which will happen in Chennai, India from 26 July to 8 August 2022.
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