Let the world witness India's excellence, AICF chief wishes Gukesh, Gujrathi ahead of Croatia event

Zagreb (Croatia), July 9 (IANS) Just a few months before he takes on reigning World Champion Ding Liren in the FIDE World Chess Championship Match in Singapore, India's Dommaraju Gukesh will go up against a quality field including compatriot Vidit Santosh Gujrathi in the SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz Croatia, the third leg in Europe of the Grand Chess Tour starting here on Wednesday.
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Let the world witness India's excellence, AICF chief wishes Gukesh, Gujrathi ahead of Croatia event

Zagreb (Croatia), July 9 (IANS) Just a few months before he takes on reigning World Champion Ding Liren in the FIDE World Chess Championship Match in Singapore, India's Dommaraju Gukesh will go up against a quality field including compatriot Vidit Santosh Gujrathi in the SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz Croatia, the third leg in Europe of the Grand Chess Tour starting here on Wednesday.

The All-India Chess Federation (AICF) President Nitin Narang has wished both Gukesh and Vidit Gujrathi on the eve of the mega event, urging them to show their brilliance on the board.

"Wishing our chess champions, @DGukesh and @viditchess, the best of luck at the SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz in Zagreb! Show your brilliance on the board and let the world witness India's excellence!" Narang wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Gukesh and Vidit will face the likes of World No.4 in rapid, Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia, No.7 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), 10th ranked Fabiano Caruana of the USA, 15th ranked Alireza Firouzja (France), No.19 Wesley So (USA), Dutch-Nepalese Grandmaster Anish Giri and local star Ivan Saric in this strong event.

Vidit is ranked 23rd in the World and has a rating of 2701 while Gukesh has a rating of 2647 and is ranked 49th in the world.

The field would have been stronger, but World No.1 Magnus Carlsen pulled out because of an urgent family matter and has been replaced with American Levon Aronian, who is ranked fifth in the World.

The field consists of seven "regular" Grand Chess Tour players plus three players invited by "wildcard". Vidit and Saric, who represent the host country, have been included as wildcards in the third and last stop in Europe of the Grand Chess Tour.

The event will be organised along the familiar lines of a combined rapid and blitz tournament, with the rapid games counting double, as the blitz tournament will have twice as many games as the rapid.

Magnus Carlsen was also due to take part. However, the world number one had to pull out at the last minute due to urgent family matters. Levon Aronian will now play in his place.

The rapid section will be held first from July 10 to 12 in which players will play nine rounds. The blitz section, comprising 18 rounds will be played from July 13 and 14, with nine rounds scheduled for each day.

--IANS

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