GM Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu got off to a flying start, winning his first five games, and ultimately ended with 6.5 points from nine games to be the sole leader at the end of the first day of the 2023 Tata Steel Chess India Open Blitz. Following the leader with six points each are GMs Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and Alexander Grischuk, with the latter the only undefeated player of the day.
In spite of the strength of the players, Friday saw typical high-voltage blitz drama with many entertaining games of edge-of-the-seat action, time scrambles, and even an illegal move.
The top two finishers in the rapid section, GMs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Teimour Radjabov had a rough day at the office, both starting their tournament with losses in the first three rounds. They finished the day with four points and two points respectively.
The Open Bltiz tournament concludes on September 9 at 4:30 a.m. ET / 10:30 CEST / 14:00 IST.
How to watch the Tata Steel India Chess Open Rapid & Blitz
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After the last round was over, I had an interesting conversation with Praggnanandhaa. What does he think is the ideal style to play good blitz?
"This morning, I was spending time studying the games of players who play blitz well. For example, Arjun played very well in [Tata Steel Chess India] last year. He won it convincingly. I was trying to look at his games. Also trying to look at my games [from last year]. To see how not to play! I felt that I was trying to play interesting... but hanging pieces here and there. One of the aims [today] was to keep it simple. Not to do anything drastic."
"Honestly, I don't know! Nowadays, you have to be universal—good at everything. Everyone is good at everything! That's what I am trying to do. Earlier I felt that I was not playing many attacking games. I [feel] I am doing it for the past two months, a lot more. Not consciously, but I am taking the chances [to attack] if I get any. I try to be generally objective in the position. I try to play my best moves, and sometimes consciously to play [sharp]. Sometimes consciously."
Nowadays, you have to be universal—good at everything.