Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi on Monday engaged world chess champion Magnus Carlsen in as many as 131 moves before the game ended in a draw at the Tata Steel Chess in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.

This was Carlsen’s longest game at the prestigious tournament, which is known as the “Wimbledon of chess”. The Norwegian’s previous longest game at this tournament was one that lasted 123 moves against Dutch Grandmaster Anish Giri.

Carlsen tried his best to break the defence of Gujrathi during the game, which lasted for about seven hours, according to Chess Base India, but was unable to find a way through. After the game, Gujrathi told the chess website that there were several points towards the end which he felt he had misplayed.

“I regretted playing 35.g4,” the 24-year-old was quoted as saying. “I knew that if I lose this game, I would look really retarded because h4 is a theoretical draw, and everyone knows it. But I thought I was forcing three versus three [pawns].”


Carlsen concurred that Gujrathi’s g4 move was unnecessary. “He did well later to play 48.f3,” the Norwegian was quoted as saying. “If he doesn’t play f3, I am in time to play e4 and then it’s very difficult to hold. As in the game, I think, I had no particular chances. I was trying to look for the right moment to try anything.”

Gujrathi currently stands sixth on the leaderboard. Carlsen’s third consecutive draw in the tournament places him fourth in the standings. The leader after three rounds is Russian Grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi, who beat Vladimir Kramnik in the Berlin defence. The win enabled the Russian to overtake Vishwanathan Anand, who was held to a draw by Vladimir Fedoseev. Anand is third, behind China’s Ding Liren.

Indian chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa, meanwhile, overcame a 100-point gap in the ratings to hold Dutch Grandmaster Erwin L’ami to a draw.