Vidit is chasing the elusive place of candidate | Chess News

KOLKATA: India’s hopes of seeing someone from the country meet at Candidate Chess now rest on Vidit Gujrathi’s shoulders. The winner of the Candidates tournament has the right to challenge the world champion for the world title. Despite the growing status of Indian chess players on the world stage, none other than Viswanathan Anand has been able to participate in this prestigious event so far.
Vidit came close to doing so before losing to Polish grandmaster Jan-Krzystof Duda in the World Cup quarter-finals in Sochi, Russia, in July. The World Cup winner and runner-up have qualified for contenders next year. However, Vidit’s next chance to take a shot at Candidates went begging after Nasik’s boy decided to skip the Grand Chess Swiss last month. “It was a tough decision, but I preferred the health issues of myself and my family to the game,” he told TOI. Latvia, the location of the event, was going through a period of lockdown due to the increase in Covid cases around this time and although Fide obtained special permission to organize the event, Vidit felt it was dangerous to travel. “There was a lot of uncertainty then. I pondered the matter for three nights, consulted many people before deciding not to go,” he said. The tournament, however, went well and the first two of this meeting also made the Candidates. “I don’t regret it because I took the best call in this situation,” he said.
The India No.2 has now left with the Chess Grand Prix scheduled for Berlin next February to pass the milestone. Vidit preferred to have a realistic vision of the challenge. “Qualifying for the Candidates will be a great motivator for me and a highlight of my career. But at the same time, I realize that the Grand Prix format is extremely difficult,” he said. The 16-player event consists of four mini-tournaments, followed by knockout matches between the winners of the mini-tournaments.
Explaining why no Indian could be a candidate, Vidit said that “the cycle of the world championships is very difficult. You have to be very, very skillful and at the top of your game in these qualifying events,” he said. he declares.
However, the 27-year-old is optimistic that an Indian will get out of this sooner rather than later. “There is no doubt that getting into the candidates is difficult. But I’m optimistic it won’t be long when someone from the country does. And I think once someone does, others Once you have someone up there, others will have that confidence and believe they will get there, ”he added.


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