India have found a new number 2 in chess after seven long years. Vidit Gujrathi has overtaken Pentala Harikrishna in the latest FIDE rankings.
Vidit now has a rating of 2721, which is more than that of Harikrishna (2713). Hari had become India’s No. 2 in October 2012, upstaging K Sasikira. Vidit, who hails from Nashik in Maharashtra had overtaken his Hyderabad rival in live rating earlier, but this is the first time he has grabbed the second spot among Indians.
Former World champion Viswanathan Anand continues to be lead the chart with 2755 points. Last year Vidit lost most of the tournaments, but winning the Biel International Chess Festival in July helped him earn crucial points. But he remains grounded and is not overjoyed by his new rank.
In conversation with TOI, Vidit said, “Of course it’s nice to be India No. 2 and I’m happy about it. But to be very honest I am not giving it too much importance right now. The difference between Hari and me is not much and it can change very quickly.”
Vidit and Hari will be playing each other in the Prague Masters meet this week. The 25-year-old Vidit attained the title of Grandmaster in January 2013 when he was 18 years old and is the fourth Indian ever to have crossed the rating threshold of 2700.