Vidit Gujrathi wins FIDE Grand Swiss, qualifies for Candidates Tournament
Vidit Gujrathi and R Vaishali won the FIDE Grand Swiss creating history and securing their spots for the Candidates tournament.
The Indian chess fraternity broke into celebrations on Sunday late night as Vidit Gujrathi and R Vaishali won the two titles on offer at the FIDE Grand Swiss chess event at the Isle of Man.
While Vaishali had secured her spot for the Candidates tournament next year, Vidit also sealed his place for the tournament with the title win.
The Candidates' tournament is held to find a challenger to the reigning world champion.
Vidit, who started the tournament with a defeat, sealed his title with a convincing victory against Alexandr Predke in the last round. He finished at the top spot in the standings with 8.5 points out of a possible 11 points.
Talking to the FIDE YouTube channel about his win, Vidit said," This is the biggest win of my career, without any doubt. There has been a long wait for me to win any tournament in any format. One of my goals was to play in the FIDE Candidates, and it is a very hard cycle to qualify, so I am happy."
“Coming back after losing the first game, I wouldn't have bet on myself at the start. But I scored 8.5 out of 10 games,” he added.
“Congratulations to Vidit for winning the FIDE Grand Swiss and qualifying for the Candidates! He handled the pressure the best on the final day,” tweeted five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand.
Vidit became the second Indian men's player to qualify for the Candidates' tournament as R Praggnanandhaa qualifier earlier this year courtesy of his runner-up finish at the FIDE Chess World Cup.
R Vaishali makes it a double podium finish
In the women's tournament, Vaishali continued her fine form to draw her final game against Batkhuyag Munguntuul and win the title.
Vaishali had already sealed her entry to the Candidates tournament on Saturday.
After Vaishali's outstanding performance at Grand Swiss, Pragg and Vaishali became the first sibling pair ever to make it to both men's and women's Candidates tournaments together.
With two spots secured in the men's category and one secured in the women's, another Indian GM D Gukesh has a chance to qualify for the Candidates based on ranking.