GM Santosh Gujrathi Vidit

Full name
Vidit Gujrathi
Born
Oct 24, 1994 (age 26)‎
Place of birth
Nashik, Maharashtra (India)
Federation
India
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Bio

Vidit Gujrathi is an Indian super GM who has won the under-14 world championship, 2018 Tata Steel Challengers, and the 2019 Biel tournament. 

Early Life And Career

Vidit was born in Indore, a city of over a million in central India, on October 24, 1994. After becoming an IM with a victory in the under-14 group of the World Youth Championships, he made the first step towards becoming a GM by reaching a 2500 rating in January 2010.

He had yet to achieve any norms, however. The first of these came in 2011 at the World Junior Chess Championship, held in Chennai, where he finished with an 8/13 score. The last two came in 2012 at events in Nagpur and Kolkata.

As Vidit pointed out in a 2020 interview with Chess.com, he earned all three of his GM norms in India, unable to travel to Europe for financial reasons. So while not a GM until he was 18, his achievement of a 2500 rating at 15 years old may be a reasonable indicator of his progress as a young player.

Career From 2013 To 2017

Vidit again played at the World Junior Championship in 2013, finishing third with a score of 9.5/13. The next year, he passed the 2600-rating threshold on the January 2014 FIDE list, and 2014 was also his last year in the Junior Championship, where he was again successful, this time with a score of 9/13.

The year 2016 was active and successful with strong scores at the Hasselbacken Open (7/9), Isle of Man Masters (6/9), and Tradewise Gibraltar (7/10). In 2017, he tied for the best score at the Dubai Open (7/9) and scored 7/10 at the Reykjavik Open.

Recent Success

The end of the 2010s decade brought Vidit perhaps his greatest successes to date.

At Tata Steel in 2018, Vidit had just joined the 2700-rating club and found himself in the Challenger event. Perhaps he already belonged in the Masters event, as he won the tournament by a full-point, undefeated with five wins in 13 games for a score of 9/13. The performance did earn him a spot in the Masters in 2019, where he had a very respectable 7/13 showing, including a win over former world champion GM Vladimir Kramnik (playing his final tournament). 

Vidit Gujrathi, 2019
Vidit at the 2019 Tata Steel Masters. Photo: Maria Emilianova/Chess.com., 
Also in 2019, Vidit easily won at the Biel Chess Festival. By standard measures, he won by 2.5 points over second-place GM Sam Shankland, but the tournament’s unusual hybrid format (standard, rapid and blitz) and scoring system gave him a six-point victory. In seven standard time control games, where a win was worth three points and a draw one, he posted four wins and three draws.

Olympiad

Vidit was a member of the Indian Olympiad team in 2016 and 2018, playing the third board both years as India finished fourth and sixth, respectively.

Championship Chances

Vidit has played in qualifying events for the world championship since 2015, although that year he did not advance out of the first round at the Chess World Cup. In 2017, he forced a third-round playoff against GM and now longtime world number-three Ding Liren. In 2019, in addition to again reaching the third round of the World Cup, Vidit finished 12th at the Isle of Man Grand Swiss in a field of 154. 

Vidit should have many more chances to qualify for the Candidates in the 2020s, as his rating reached a new high of 2726 in March 2020, placing him in the top 25 worldwide.

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