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Erigaisi, Mariya Muzychuk Lead Tata Steel India Blitz

GM Arjun Erigaisi shot into the lead with 6.5 points from nine rounds after the first day of the Tata Steel Chess India Open Blitz 2022, while GM Mariya Muzychuk scored an impressive eight points from nine rounds to win the Tata Steel Chess India Women’s Blitz 2022 to lead.

Erigaisi is followed by GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with six points, while GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi is third with 5.5 points, both recovering from lackluster performances in the open portion of the Rapid tournament.

In the women’s event, IM Vaishali Rameshbabu also scored an above-average seven points to take second place. Maria Muzychuk and Vaishali set a frantic pace; they are two full points above GM Anna Muzyuchuk and GM Harika Dronavalli trailing them by five points each. On Sunday, December 4, another nine-match round-robin will be played in both sections with colors reversed.

The blitz portion of the event continues December 3 at 9:30 PM PT/December 4 at 6:30 AM CET.

How to watch the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Tata Steel India Chess Women’s Rapid

You can stay up to date with all the details of the tournament on our live event platform by following separate links for the open sections and the women’s sections.


The place

As blitz is the most attractive form of chess, Saturday was an exciting day at the National Library of India, Kolkata. The day was all about quick thinking, fast reflexes and fast hands against the usual chess skills; it also saw more emotions, gaffes, and heartbreaks than any other form of the game. Players understood the need to be at the best of their inner calm, though it wasn’t easy for anyone.

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GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and GM Parham Maghsoodloo search for inner peace at the beginning of their meeting. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

A cool feature used at this event is the real-time biofeedback that measures heart rate for players who have agreed to wear a smartwatch that measures and relays it.

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A smartwatch is confirmed by a player just before the start of a game. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

The data from the watches, in turn, is picked up by Android phones and recorded in real time. The whole activity is facilitated by Ashwin Subrahmanian, who provides logistical support and integrates the data with the live commentary. As a technical manager at Intel, he is an unclassified chess player who won the 2018 ACO World Amateur Champion in the Elo 1600-1800 category. During the Global Chess Festival in 2022 he gave an extensive lecture on the subject. After he became interested, the organizers of this event assigned him to run the system during the Tata Chess Festival India Rapid & Blitz.

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Ashwin places Android phones next to gaming tables just before the games begin so that the biofeedback system picks up signals from the smartwatches. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

The heart rates, in turn, were part of the live commentary, and the broadcast indicated the rates on the screen as the players made their moves.

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Screengrab of live commentary showing the heartbeats (circled in yellow) of IM Tania Sachdev (90), GM Vishy Anand and IM Sagar Shah (93) during a tense situation in Erigaisi-Mamedyarov. Erigaisi’s heart rate (circled in red) is 96, while Mamedyarov preferred not to show it.
It is a great innovation to display the heart rate of the players as they make moves. It’s just fascinating to watch the numbers fluctuate as the tension in the position increases and the time in the clocks decreases.

Open

The open section was a bloodbath with no player escaping defeat during the event. Overall, Erigaisi kept his game as stable as possible and scored wins by mostly taking advantage of his opponents’ mistakes. A good example is his play against one of the most prolific blitz chess players in the world, GM Hikaru Nakamura:

Playing his kind of dynamic chess, Mamedyarov always came out on top in fast-paced tactical skirmishes:

Vidit was impressive in many games, the next effort was typical of his style. It’s a well-executed game, especially by blitz chess standards:

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Vidit “Karpov” Gujrathi! Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

The most dynamic game was played by GM Nihal Sarin, our game of the day and analyzed below by GM Dejan Bojkov

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Much was expected of Nakamura, whose iconic status extends across the globe due to his proven prowess at blitz, and he showed his brilliance in flashes even at the end of a game with little time on the clock:

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Nakamura: iconic in speed chess. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

A thrilling final day of blitz awaits spectators on Sunday, if the combative nature of the games and the prowess of the many blitz specialists in the field are any indication.

All Games Open Blitz – Day 1

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Women

The women’s division was dominated by Maria Muzychuk and Vaishali:

Mariya Muzychuk keeps it simple. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Vaishali produced many games with stable play, as opposed to the dynamic style she is known for:

Vaishali: admirable stability. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

All Games Blitz Women’s – Day 1

Standings

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The Tata Steel Chess India Blitz and Women’s Blitz 2022 are two of India’s most prestigious blitz chess events. Players compete in a 10-player round robin in blitz games with a 3+2 time control. The prize pool for each event is $17,500.


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