Gukesh beats Raunak in all-India final of Junior Speed Chess Championship

Gukesh beats Raunak in all-India final of Junior Speed Chess Championship

Gukesh beats Raunak in all-India final of Junior Speed Chess Championship

Mumbai, June 20 (IANS) With some superb tactical play and some amazing counterattacks, GM Dommaraju Gukesh came back from a deficit to defeat GM Raunak Sadhwani by seven points in the all-India final to emerge winner in Speed Chess Championships.
Currently ranked number 13 in the world, Chennai resident Gukesh earned $21,582 total for his convincing performance, claiming every single match against seven of his fellow best juniors in the world by at least a six-point lead.
Gukesh won the title while Raunak ended as the runner-up. Denis Lazavik of Belarus ended third and pocketed $4.542 and India's Pranav V. came fourth and bagged $3.737 with American star Chris Yoo and gained $1.318.
The 2023 Junior Speed Chess Championship (JSCC) is's top event for young players and features a $50,000 prize fund. The JSCC features the strongest online competition for the next generation of talented players and's signature Speed Chess Championship format.
Though Gukesh is significantly higher rated in classical chess, Raunak plays online speed chess much more frequently with a blitz rating over 100 points higher.
And it was Raunak who grabbed the lead in the first segment of blitz matches (5|1) in which each player had five minutes to complete the game with a one-second increment after every move. In the first game, Raunak trapped Gukesh's queen with just two seconds left on his clock in the first game.
Though Gukesh had a slow start, trailing by two points in the first three games, he levelled the score in round five. The rest of the 5+1 was a very back-and-forth battle with the players trading victories, staying within a point of each other.
In game eight, Gukesh took the lead for the first time, winning the promotion race in the endgame. In the final game of the segment, Raunak countered, winning on demand to tie the match with a 4.5-4.5 score.
In the second segment, the scores hovered between equal and slightly in favour of either of the players in the first half of the 3+1 portion. This section eventually ended in Gukesh's favour as he led Raunak 6.5-2.5.
In the third segment, the Bullet section in which each player had one minute to complete the game with one-second increment after every move.
At the start of the bullet, Raunak played with great verve and determination, winning the first two games and shrinking his opponent's lead to two points. Realising that he was playing too defensively, Gukesh adjusted, returning to the attacking style that gave him the lead.
From that point on, the match was all in Gukesh's. His score continuously grew until his edge was insurmountable with the amount of time left on the match clock. Even once his victory was guaranteed, Gukesh kept showing high-quality chess, pressing for the most out of his games.
In his interview, Gukesh shared about his comeback after trailing in the early games "At the start in time scrambles, I couldn't get my mind to think fast, and it was trouble warming up. Maybe I have to play a few games before the match starts and just go with the flow."
"I started with a loss, a draw, and then a loss, but I was still quite confident. It's a long match. There are so many games to play. I knew that I would get my chances, and I just have to find my flow. Once I did, it was quite smooth," Gukesh was quoted as saying by the organisers.

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