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WR Chess clinches FIDE World Rapid Team 2023 with a round to spare, Freedom second and MGD1 third

by Shahid Ahmed - 29/08/2023

WR Chess won FIDE World Rapid Team Championship 2023 when they defeated ASV AlphaEchecs Linz 5-1 in the penultimate round. Before that, Armenia held them to a 3-3 draw in Round 10. In the final round, the eventual winner, WR Chess drew against Berlin Chess Federation 3-3, as the outcome of it would not have changed their final rank. They finished with a score of 22/24. Düsseldorfer Schachklub 1914/25 e.V. lost to Freedom 1.5-4.5 in the final round. Thus, Freedom finish second 20/24. Chess Pensioners lost to MGD1 2-4. MGD1 secured Bronze 18/24. Pentala Harikrishna (Bronze), Vidit Gujrathi (Silver), Raunak Sadhwani (Silver), Pranesh M (Bronze), Harika Dronavalli (Silver) and Peter Anand A (Silver) are the individual medal winners for their respective boards. Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga

Indians claim both team and individual medals

The top three podium finishers consisted at least one Indian in each team. WR Chess had one, Freedom two and MGD1 eight. When it comes to individual medals for board prizes, as many as seven Indians won either a Silver or Bronze medal. The total prize fund was €250000. Top three prizes were €100000, €60000 and €40000.

Champion - WR Chess 22/24 | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga

Standing (L to R) - GM Wesley So, GM Yifan Hou, GM Jan Gustafsson (Captain), GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, GM Vincent Keymer and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Sitting (L to R) - GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda, GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Wadim Rosenstein and GM R Praggnanandhaa.

Runner-up - Freedom 20/24 | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga

L to R: GM Vishy Anand, GM Vidit Gujrathi, GM Emil Sutovsky (Captain), Alexander Shapiro, GM Daniil Dubov, IM Polina Shuvalova, WGM Jovanna Rapport, GM Richard Rapport and GM Evgeniy Najer.

Second Runner-up - MGD1 18/24 | Photo: FIDE/Mark Livshitz

L to R: WGM Dana Reizniece-Ozola (FIDE Management Board), GM Aditya Mittal, GM Srinath Narayanan, GM Pentala Harikrishna, GM Arjun Erigaisi, GM Raunak Sadhwani, GM Nihal Sarin, GM Harika Dronavalli, IM Gunay Mammadzada and Peter Anand A.

Best Under-2400 - Columbus Energy KingsOfChess Kraków 14/24 | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga

The inaugural edition of FIDE World Rapid Team Championship took place from 26th to 28th August 2023

Round 9: WR Chess scores a triple hat-trick

GM Vidit Gujrathi (Freedom) scored a fantastic win over GM Ilia Smirin (Ashdod Elit Chess Club). GM Vishy Anand (Freedom) drew against GM Pavel Eljanov (Ashdod Elit Chess Club).

Smirin - Vidit

Position after 19...Nxe3!

19...Nxe3! is an excellent move. It takes advantage of White's king being stranded at the center of the board. 20.fxe3 b6 21.Qg5 f3 22.Bf6 Bxc4 23.Bxd8 f2+ 24.Kf1 Qd2 25.Bxc7+ Kb7 and Black won as White cannot defend both c1-rook and e2-bishop at the same time.

GM Vidit Gujrathi scored his fifth win of the event | Photo: FIDE/Mark Livshitz

Ashdod Elit Chess Club - Freedom: 1.5-4.5 | Photo: FIDE/Mark Livshitz

Ashdod Elit Chess Club - Freedom: 1.5-4.5

Replay Ashdod Elit Chess Club vs Freedom: 1.5-4.5 games

MGD1 - Six-pack: 5-1 | Photo: FIDE/Mark Livshitz
GM Arjun Erigaisi (MGD1) vs GM Karthik Venkataraman (Six-pack) | Video: ChessBase India
IM Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh (Six-pack) - GM Nihal Sarin (MGD1) | Video: ChessBase India

Chess Pensioners - WR Chess: 2.5-3.5 | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga and Mark Livshitz
GM Vladimir Kramnik (Chess Pensioners) - GM R Praggnanandhaa (WR Chess) | Video: ChessBase India

Round 9 in progress | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga

Round 10: Aravindh beats Anand, draws for MGD1 and WR Chess

After starting the day with a draw against GM Pentala Harikrishna (MGD1, 2630), India's first triple crown champion, GM Aravindh Chithambaram (Six-pack, 2553) defeated the maestro, GM Vishy Anand (Freedom, 2751). MGD1 and WR Chess drew against Germany and Friends, and Armenia respectively.

Aravindh - Anand

Position after 39.Rxg7+

Where should Black move his king? 39...Ke6 was the best way to keep the fight going as it defends the e5-pawn. 39...Kf8 40.Rxc7 Nxc7 41.Nf6 Kf7 42.Ng4 drops another pawn and it is difficult to save the game.

GM Aravindh Chithambaram (Six-pack) - GM Vishy Anand (Freedom) | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Six-pack vs Freedom games

Round 11: WR Chess wins the tournament with a round to spare

MGD1, Six-pack and WR Chess defeated Columbus Energy KingsOfChess Kraków, Schachverein Hemer and ASV AlphaEchecs Linz respectively by 5-1 each without suffering a single game loss. Thus, WR Chess won the tournament with one round to spare 21/22. Top seed Freedom was at 18/22.

Round 12: WR Chess draws against Berlin Chess Federation

WR Chess had already won the tournament in the previous round. The last round result was immaterial towards their championship. They drew the final round match against Berlin Chess Federation 3-3.

Berlin Chess Federation-WR Chess: 3-3 | Photo: FIDE/Mark Livshitz

Düsseldorfer Schachklub 1914/25 e.V. - Freedom | Photo: FIDE/Mark Livshitz

Individual Board prizes

Board #1: Bronze - GM Pentala Harikrishna (MGD1) 6.5/11, Silver - GM Baadur Jobava (Columbus Energy KingsOfChess Kraków) 8.5/12 and Gold - GM Fabiano Caruana (Kompetenzakademie Allstars) 9.5/12 | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga

Board #3: Gold - GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (WR Chess) 7/9, Bronze - GM Arjun Erigaisi (MGD1) 8/12 and Silver - GM Vidit Gujrathi (Freedom) 7/10 | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga

Board #4: Gold - GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda (WR Chess) 7/8, 2nd GM Raunak Sadhwani (MGD1) 8.5/11 and 3rd GM Pranesh M (Six-pack) 9/12 | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga

Board #7: Bronze - IM Klaudia Kulon (Columbus Energy KingsOfChess Kraków) 7.5/9, Silver - GM Harika Dronavalli (MGD1) 5/8 and Gold - IM Polina Shuvalova (Freedom) 8/11 | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga

Photo Gallery

Vishy Anand signs autograph and poses for a selfie with a fan | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga

D Gukesh poses for a group of his fans and a little baby too | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga

Wadim Rosenstein flanked by his good friend GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (right) and Germany no.1 - GM Vincent Keymer (left) | Photo: FIDE/Niki Riga
Nihal Sarin: "Computers brought a lot of new interesting ideas" | Video: FIDE

Replay live stream

Replay Live Commentary of Round 9-12 by GMs Yasser Seirawan, Maurice Ashley and IM Almira Skripchenko (FRA) | Video: FIDE

Video Gallery

Pragg or Vaishali - Super mom Nagalakshmi chooses!

Caruana wins Gold on board 1 at FIDE World Rapid Teams | World Cup + Candidates 2024

They named their kid Nihal after Nihal Sarin!


Team composition

Each team will consist of at least six and maximum nine players. Apart from having to include at least one female player, for the first time in a high-level team event, teams will have to include a recreational player, who has never achieved a Standard, Rapid or Blitz FIDE rating of 2000 or more. It is not mandatory for the teams to have board order as per rating. For more details, please check the tournament regulations, link provided at the end of the article.


The 12-round Swiss League team event has a time control of 15 minutes + 10 seconds increment from move no.1. There is no default time. No penalty shall be imposed on a player if he/she is late for any of his/her games. Scoring is usual for a team event. Match points: Win = 2, Draw = 1 and Loss = 0.

Replay Round 9-12 games

Round 12 results

113Düsseldorfer Schachklub 1914/25 e.V.13:18Freedom1
228Chess Pensioners132:416Team MGD13
410Germany and Friends15:12Columbus Energy KingsOfChess Kraków8
56Ashdod Elit Chess Club13:12ASV AlphaEchecs Linz4
69Chessbrah OFM123:311Schachverein Hemer18
715Rishon LeZion Chess Club12:11Team Chessemy.com14
821Deutsche Schachjugend 1112:411Kompetenzakademie Allstars7
911Berlin Chess Federation133:321WR Chess *)2
1022Wensing & Pöbel112:411FIDE Management Board20


Final standings

Rk.SNoTeamGames  +   =   -  TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
12WR Chess1210202270251164
33Team MGD11282218628,547,5167
510Germany and Friends126331553339,5169
64ASV AlphaEchecs Linz127051454945164
78Columbus Energy KingsOfChess Kraków127051448241,5159
811Berlin Chess Federation1262414449,537,5156
1028Chess Pensioners1245313485,537,5167




The venue for the event will be Rheinterrasse, Düsseldorf by Stockheim


The total prize fund is €250000. There are six prizes in total - top five and one rating category. The top three prizes are: €100000, 60000 and 40000 each respectively. Best U2400 will earn €12500.


Official site

Tournament Regulations

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