R Vaishali and Vidit Gujrathi gave India a double success by winning the women's and open category titles respectively in the FIDE Grand Swiss Chess Tournament and qualifying for the prestigious FIDE Candidates Tournament.
Vaishali drew with Batkhuyag Munguntuul of Mongolia in the 11th and final round played on Sunday night, while Vidit Gujrathi defeated Alexandr Predke of Serbia to register her seventh win in the FIDE Grand Swiss 2023 and topped the open category. Both Vaishali and Vidit scored the same 8.5 points and won the titles by half a point from their nearest rival.
Apart from qualifying for the FIDE Candidates Tournament to be held in Canada in April next year, Vaishali received a prize of US $ 25,000 (over Rs 20 lakh), while Vidit received a prize of US $ 80,000 (over Rs 66 lakh).
Meanwhile, second place in the women's category went to Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine who played a draw with experienced grandmaster Pia Cramling of Sweden. The second female player to make it to the FIDE Candidates list was Tan Zhongyi, who finished third. Muzychuk had already qualified for the World Women's Cup.
In the open category, Hikaru Nakamura played a draw with Arjun Erigaisi of India. In this way, the Indian players remained unbeaten in this tournament but they had to be satisfied with fourth place only.
Vaishali is the first Indian female player to win the Grand Swiss tournament. Apart from her, India's first woman Grandmaster Koneru Humpy is also likely to participate in the FIDE Candidates Tournament. Humpy can make it to this tournament due to its high rating but its formal announcement will be made in January 2024.
While Vidit Gujrathi became the second Indian men's player to qualify for the FIDE Candidates tournament as R Praggnanandhaa qualifier earlier this year courtesy of his runner-up finish at the FIDE Chess World Cup.