Erigaisi, Mariya Muzychuk In Lead At Tata Steel India

GM Arjun Erigaisi shot into the lead with 6.5 points from nine rounds after the first day of the 2022 Tata Steel Chess India Open Blitz, while GM Mariya Muzychuk scored an impressive eight points from nine rounds to lead the 2022 Tata Steel Chess India Women’s Blitz.

Erigaisi is followed by GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with six points, while GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi is in the third spot with 5.5 points, both bouncing back from moderate performances in the Rapid tournament open section.

In the women’s section, IM Vaishali Rameshbabu also scored an above-average seven points to be in second place. Maria Muzychuk and Vaishali have set a hectic pace; they are two full points above GM Anna Muzyuchuk and GM Harika Dronavalli who are following them with five points apiece. Another repeat round-robin of nine more games will be played with reversed colors in both sections on Sunday, December 4.

The blitz section of the event continues on December 3 at 21:30 p.m. PT/December 4 at 06:30 CET.

How to watch the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Tata Steel India Chess Women’s Rapid

You can keep up with all the details of the tournament on our live events platform by following separate links for open and women’s sections. 

The Scene

Because blitz is the most attractive of chess formats, Saturday was an exciting day at the National Library of India, Kolkata. The day belonged to quick thinking, rapid reflexes, and fast hands against usual chess skills; it also saw more emotions, blunders, and heartbreaks than in any other form of the game. Players understood the necessity to be at the best of their inner calm, though it wasn’t easy for anyone.

GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and GM Parham Maghsoodloo search for inner calm at the beginning of their encounter. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

A cool feature used in this event is the real-time biofeedback that monitors heartbeat rates for players who agreed to wear a smartwatch that measures and relays them.

A smartwatch is attached by a player just before the start of a game. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

The data from the watches is, in turn, picked up by Android phones and recorded in real time. The entire activity is facilitated by Ashwin Subrahmanian, who provides logistical support and integrates the data with the live commentary. An engineering manager at Intel, he is an unrated chess player who won the ACO World Amateur Champion in 2018 in the Elo 1600-1800 category. He gave a detailed lecture on the subject during the Global Chess Festival in 2022. After becoming interested, the organizers of this event tasked him with running the system during the Tata Chess Festival India Rapid & Blitz.

Ashwin sets up Android phones next to playing tables just before the games begin so the biofeedback system picks up signals from the smartwatches. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

The heartbeat rates were, in turn, part of the live commentary, and the broadcast indicated the rates on the screen as the players made their moves.

Screengrab of live commentary by IM Tania Sachdev, GM Vishy Anand, and IM Sagar Shah, commenting on a tense situation from Erigaisi-Mamedyarov, whose heartbeat rates (circled in yellow) were 90 and 93 respectively.

Being able to display the heartbeat rates of the players as they made moves is a great innovation. It is simply fascinating to see the numbers fluctuate as the tension in the position increases and the time dwindles down in the clocks.


The open section was a bloodbath with not a single player escaping defeat in the event. Overall, Erigaisi kept his play as stable as possible and scored wins by exploiting his opponents’ errors most of the time. A case in point is his game against one of the most prolific players of blitz chess in the world, GM Hikaru Nakamura:

Mamedyarov played his brand of dynamic chess and always came up on top during quick tactical skirmishes:

Vidit was impressive in many games, the following effort being typical of his style. It is a well-conducted game, especially by blitz chess standards:


Vidit “Karpov” Gujrathi! Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

The most dymamic game was played by GM Nihal Sarin, which is our Game Of The Day and is analyzed GM Dejan Bojkov below

Much was expected of Nakamura whose iconic status extends all over the world due to his proven prowess in blitz, and he did showcase his genius in flashes, even when near the end of a game with little time on the clock:

Nakamura: iconic in blitz chess. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

An exciting final day of blitz awaits the spectators on Sunday if the fighting nature of the games and the prowess of the many blitz specialists in the field are indications.

All Games Open Blitz – Day 1


The women’s section was dominated by Maria Muzychuk and Vaishali:

Mariya Muzychuk keeps it simple. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Vaishali produced many games with stable play, unlike the dynamic style that she is known for:

Vaishali: admirable stability. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

All Games Blitz Women’s – Day 1


The 2022 Tata Steel Chess India Blitz and Women’s Blitz are two of India’s most prestigious blitz chess events. Players compete in a 10-player round-robin in blitz games with a 3+2 time control. The prize fund for each event is $17,500.

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