India’s star chess player Raunak Sadhwani continued his brilliant run in the Fide Chess.com Grand Swiss tournament as he drew the match against Russian Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin in 31 moves. The next round would see Raunak defending with black pieces against 46th seeded Croatian GM Saric Ivan.
Raunak had already turned heads in the tournament by defeating Russia's top GM and 2662 Elo Sjugirov Sanan in the opening round itself. At 2479, Raunak has been the city's youngest International Master (IM) with the lowest 129 ranking in the 11-round tourney. However, that didn’t stop the 14-year-old from using his white pieces well to beat 52nd seed Sanan in just 33 moves.
Raunak followed that up with another impressive display, this time against former World Championship runner-up and sixth-seeded Karjakin. Defending with black pieces now, the Indian drew easily after opting for a Caro-Kann opening. This time, his opponent at 2760 Elo had 281 more rating points than him.
"I wish to take one round at a time and just wanted to give my best irrespective of the result," said Raunak, reported TOI.
In the third round, which took place on Sunday, Raunak used an English opening with the whites to hold India's top GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly in just 28 moves.
"I had a decent preparation today. With the English, I played a new opening to hold in-form GM Ganguly. It was an equal game and I was trying for some advantage and everywhere there were single moves. So we both were playing cautiously and after an accurate play with three-fold repetitions the game ended in a draw," Raunak added about his third match.
A qualifier for the 2020 World Championship Candidates' tournament, this tournament would be decided from the international rating meet, where 133 Grandmasters including world champion Magnus Carlsen, Caruana Fabiano, So Wesley, and Viswanathan Anand are among also competing amongst the 154 participants. With one win and two draws, Raunak has been at par with Carlsen at two points at the moment.