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One more Christmas present for chess fans

17 Dec 2023

We have a small Christmas gift for all chess fans – revealing names of the last four participants of the Masters tournament. Here they go: two Indian GMs Vidit Gujrathi and Gukesh D, Iranian #1 and current #12 in the world ranking Parham Maghsoodloo and the youngest rapid chess world champion in history Nodirbek Abdusattorov.

Vidit Gujrathi gained his access to the Candidates Tournament by winning the Grand Swiss tournament held two months ago at the Isle of Man. Before his April trip to Toronto to fight for the opportunity to challenge the reigning world champion, the GM, currently #3 in India, will make a stop in Prague. Vidit has already won two silver medals out of three participations in the Masters tournament, but his current ELO of 2737 and #15 spot in the world ranking suggest he may triumph again in Prague. 

The main stage of the Don Giovanni Hotel Prague shall welcome Gukesh D for the first time, but he needs no introduction in the chess world. Gukesh D was born 29th May 2006 in Chennai. He started playing chess at the age of 7, and at 16 he represented India at the Chess Olympiad in Chennai. Just a year later (September 2023) he made an indelible mark in the chess history when he became Indian #1 and took over Vishi Anand who reigned for 37 years. At the same time, he became the youngest player to reach the mark of 2750 ELO points. 

Let’s take a look at the upper spots of the world ranking too. As of December 1, Iranian GM Parham Maghsoodloo assumed the #12 spot. After an excellent performance at the World Junior Chess Championship in 2018 and as a triple Iranian champion, he attends the Prague International Chess Festival for the second time and aspires to be #1 in the Masters tournament. 

Nodirbek Abdusattorov, a 19-year-old from Tashkent, has already attended PICF in the past. The reigning rapid chess champion fought in the Challengers tournament in June 2022 to win the first spot and gain an access to the Masters tournament, but the competition was strong and the player who won his way to the Masters was Vincent Keymer. Just two months later, in August 2022, he excited the whole country of Uzbekistan. Nodirbek Abdusattorov and his team won the gold medal at the Chess Olympiad in Chennai. 

The 6th year of the Festival is scheduled for February 26 to March 7, 2024. The line-up of the Masters tournament is very promising, and we can already say it has some of the strongest players ever attending. “Over the past years it happened several times that our Festival collided with bigger tournaments, which limited our options on who to invite. I am very happy to see circumstances playing in our favour this year,” says Petr Boleslav, the Festival director, adding: “To try and pick just two main favorites would be a pure guessing game. One thing’s for certain though – the existing list of the Masters champions is going to see a new name.” 

MASTERS

    Rating FIDE  rating list
1 MAGHSOODLOO, P. (IRI) 2742 12th place
2 PRAGGNANANDHAA R (IND) 2740 13th place
3 KEYMER, VINCENT (GER) 2738 14th place
4 VIDIT, GUJRATHI (IND) 2737 15th place
5 RAPPORT, RICHARD (ROU) 2731 18th place
6 ABDUSATTOROV, N. (UZB) 2727 22nd place
7 GUKESH D (IND) 2720 28th place
8 NAVARA, DAVID (CZE) 2679 52nd place
9 BARTEL, MATEUSZ (POL) 2659 79th place
10 NGUYEN, VAN (CZE) 2632 117th place
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