Prague: India's Vidit Santosh Gujrathi opened his campaign in the Masters event of the Prague Chess Festival with a win over Sam Shankland of the USA.
P Harikrishna (ELO rating 2713), the other Indian player in the field, held Sweden's Nils Grandelius to a 36-move draw in a Nimzo-Indian game late on Wednesday.
Vidit Gujrathi and Harikrishna are ranked two and three in the latest FIDE list behind the legendary Viswanathan Anand.
In the Vidit Gujrathi-Shankland match, the Indian cashed in on his opponent's only mistake and proceeded to win in 32 moves, continuing his dominance over the American.
"In the opening, I was spending a lot of time, and I was not expecting this line so I had to improvise. The only problem was I was in time pressure as I had to calculate a lot," the India No 2 with an ELO rating of 2721, said after the victory.
Top-seeds Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland and Nikita Vitiugov (Russia) were the other winners in the opening round.
Duda had a relatively easy day in office, taking advantage of an off-day for the host nation's David Navara.
Alireza Firouzja of Iran, the No 1 junior player in the world, who replaced Chinese GM Wei Yi owing to the coronavirus outbreak, was held to a draw by Markus Ragger (Austria) in his opener.
In the second round later on Thursday, Gujrathi faces David Anton Guijjaro while Harikrishna tackles the top-seeded Duda.
The 10-player tournament concludes on 21 February.
Results: Round 1: Vidit Gujrathi beat Sam Shankland; P Harikrishna drew with Nils Grandelius; Alireza Firouzja drew with Markus Ragger, Nika Vitiugov beat David Anton Guijjaro, Jan-Krysztof beat David Navara.
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Updated Date: Feb 13, 2020 13:42:58 IST