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Vidit Gujrathi becomes the fourth Indian to cross 2700

by Sagar Shah - 21 August 2017

India number three GM Vidit Gujrathi had been knocking on the doors of 2700 for quite some time now. He finally achieved that milestone at the Spanish Team Championship 2017 in Linares. Vidit played for board one of Team Solvay and scored 4.5/7 against some super strong opponents. He gained 8.7 Elo points and reach 2701.7 on the live rating lists. As he won't be playing any events in August, his published rating on 1st September will be 2702. He is the fourth Indian after Anand, Sasikiran and Harikrishna to achieve this coveted feat of crossing 2700 Elo.

"Relieved!" These are the words of Vidit Gujrathi to ChessBase India after he reached 2700 Elo. The 22-year-old from Nashik had been knocking on the doors of this magical figure since quite some time now. He showed tremendous bit of chess and in the seventh round of the Spanish Higher League he beat Alexander Areschenko with the white pieces and reached 2701.7.

Truckloads of concentration! That's Vidit's secret of success!

Vidit Gujrathi (2697.3) vs Alexander Areshchenko

Areschenko has just pushed his pawn to f4. What is the move for White that will help him cross 2700 Elo?
[Event "1st Division ESP-chT 2017"]
[Site "Linares"]
[Date "2017.08.20"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Black "Areshchenko, Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B91"]
[WhiteElo "2693"]
[BlackElo "2652"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
{This is the game that helped Vidit cross 2700 Elo on the rating list.} 1. e4
c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 $5 {This is usually
considered as an innocuous system of deveopment for White. But Vidit surely
has some ideas up his sleeve.} e5 7. Nde2 Be7 8. Bg2 b5 9. Nd5 Nxd5 10. Qxd5
Ra7 11. Be3 Rb7 {This is almost a new move having been seen in only game
before.} (11... Be6 {has been seen in 10 games before.}) 12. O-O O-O 13. Qd3
Be6 14. b3 Nd7 15. Nc3 Nf6 (15... Nc5 16. Qd2 $14) 16. a4 Qb8 17. axb5 axb5 18.
Bg5 {Vidit tries to fight for the d5 square.} b4 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. Nd5 Bd8 (
20... Rc8 $5 $14) 21. Rfd1 Bxd5 22. Qxd5 {White's advantage is quite tangible
here, because it is not so easy to defend the d6 pawn.} Bb6 (22... Be7 {
Such a passive move would be refuted with} 23. Bf1 $1 {And the bishop moves to
c4.}) 23. Bf1 Bc5 24. Ra6 g6 25. Bc4 {While the bishops are active for both
sides, White's major pieces are more active and this gives him a slight pull.}
Kg7 26. Kg2 f5 $6 {This move looks very natural from a human point of view,
but concretely it weakens Black's king position.} (26... Rc7 {Keeping things
as they are would make it difficult for White to breakthrough.}) 27. Rda1 Ra7
28. exf5 Rxa6 29. Rxa6 gxf5 30. Ra5 Kh8 31. Rb5 Qe8 32. Rb7 e4 33. Qd1 $1 {
A very strong manoeuvre. The queen threatens to come to a1 at the right moment
to deliver the checkmate.} f4 $2 {A huge mistake that instantly loses the game.
} (33... Qg6 $16) 34. Rb8 $3 {Of course, such tactics are pretty easy for
Vidit to see. One would say Areshchenko blundered such an easy tactic. But the
way Vidit put pressure on him throughout the game forced him to go wrong.} f3+
35. Kh1 {And it's all over. Taking the rook is of course met with Qa1+ with a
mate!} 1-0

With this win Vidit gained 4.4 Elo points and reached 2701.7 on the Elo charts. As Gujrathi won't play any more rated games until the end of August, his published rating as on 1st September 2017 will be 2702.

Vidit is only the fourth Indian after Vishy Anand, Sasikiran Krishnan and Harikrishna Pentala to cross 2700 Elo

Vidit's post on Facebook after crossing 2700 Elo
Vidit's last lines of the Facebook post also show the amount of importance that should be given to Elo ratings. It is important, but playing better chess is even more.


"While this is a big personal milestone for me, I also realize that rating means nothing if you do not keep working hard and playing well. With this I will try to work harder and make sure that I can show some really good games of chess to all of you who follow my games."
Celebrating with his friends Adhiban, Surya and Ubilava after a successful final round! Team Solvay finished second
The rest of the team mates Cori Jorge and Ivan Salgado Lopez also join in for the after-party!
Vidit's performance at the Spanish League (Note he was not white in all the games)
Vidit will now spend two weeks in Prague before participating in the World Cup 2017 to be held in Tbilisi from the 2nd to the 29th of September 2017.


Download Vidit's games from the Spanish League



Vidit solving blindfold positions. This video by Aditya Pai just shows how good the India number three is!


Win signed hard copies of Vidit's Caro Kann Vol.01 + 02.

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