India’s young guns are put to the test in a major way
Three Indian chess players are included in the most recent FIDE top-10 junior rankings, showing how strong the country’s young players are.
Behind Alireza Firouzja, Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi is ranked No. 2, while D Gukesh and Nihal Sarin are ranked Nos. 6 and 10, respectively.
R Praggnanandhaa (11th) and Raunak Sadhwani (15th), the other two young guns, aren’t far behind. India’s upcoming stars will compete at the high-profile event, the 44th Olympiad, which begins on July 28.
In the open category, Arjun competes for India’s A team, while the other four athletes represent India’s B team.
The young people are well aware that everyone is watching them, but they want to avoid getting sidetracked. “I have previously participated in online Olympiad teams.
The significance of playing in my first over-the-board Olympiad in my hometown, however, cannot be overstated. Although we appreciate the spirit of the occasion, Praggu told TOI that distractions should be avoided as the tournament draws near.
He won the Paracin Open competition in Serbia earlier this month as a warm-up for the Olympics. With victories in the Norway Open last month and success in the online tournament Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, where he twice defeated World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, he has had a noteworthy year.
This year in Spain, Gukesh has been in the best shape of his life, winning four competitions. Gukesh broke the 2700 ELO barrier in live ratings last week at the Biel Chess Festival in Switzerland, making him the youngest Indian to do so.
After Wei Yi and Alireza Firouzja, Gukesh was the third-youngest person to accomplish the feat. Arjun won the Tata Steel Challengers in Wijk aan Zee to start the year. As a result of winning the National championship and the Delhi International Open, he continued to improve.
At the Champions Chess Tour, Arjun was a force to be reckoned with, and the Olympiad gives the 18-year-old a chance to display his skill set against the best in the field.
Players like Nihal and Raunak have frequently displayed a strong game and matched it with a good temperament to win battles.
Raunak’s presence in the lower boards bodes well for the India B team, especially if the competition on the top boards heats up. The young guns, in the opinion of GM Srinath Narayanan, are capable of handling challenging circumstances.
They are experienced players with tunnel vision who can handle pressure because they frequently participate in both live and online tournaments. In addition to pressure, I can also sense a lot of excitement among them, according to Srinath, coach of the India A team competing in the competition.