Arjun Erigaisi wins Stepan Avagyan Memorial Chess title

New Delhi, Jun 18 (PTI) Indian Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi came up with another superb performance to clinch the title after a final round draw against local hopeful Manual Petrosyan in the Stepan Avagyan memorial chess tournament that concluded Jermuk, Armenia.

Arjun, the highest rated player here, tallied 6.5 points out of a possible nine in the 10-player round-robin tournament.

The Indian remained unbeaten throughout the tournament bagging as many as four victories besides five draws.

The final round was only relevant for academic interest as Arjun had won the tournament with one round to spare. The Hyderabad-based player enjoyed 1.5 points lead coming in to the final day and drew quite easily with black against Petrosyan.

The victory here also meant that Arjun’s steady climb continued and he is now at 2778 in live rating points, taking him to world number four ranking behind Magnus Carlsen of Norway and American duo of Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana.

The World Championship challenger later this year — D Gukesh is now 15 points adrift of Arjun at 2763 and is ranked seventh in the world while R Praggnanandhaa is eighth on 2757 points. Legend Viswanathan Anand is still close to these three youngsters at number 11 in world rankings with 2751 rating.

Arjun employed the Scandinavian defense as black against Petrosyan who could not get any worthwhile advantage. The Queens were off the board early in the opening and even though he tried, Petrosyan could only manage an optical advantage.

Arjun yet again calculated well and accepted a sacrificed pawn at the cost of a weakened structure and Petrosyan just had compensation right through. Just when he realised that making progress was going to be difficult, Petrosyan decided to repeat moves to shake hands in 43 moves.

It was three-way tie for the second spot between Sam Savian of the United States, Amin Tabatabai of Iran and Deac Bogdan-Daniel of Romania, who all scored five points apiece.

Robert Hovannisyan and Haik Martirosyan of Armenia finished fifth and sixth on 4.5 points each and they were followed by locals Shant Sargsyan and Petrosian on four points each.

Matthias Blubaum of Germany ended ninth on 3.5, a half point ahead of Volodar Murzin of Russia who finished last.

Results after final round: Manual Petrosyan (ARM, 4) drew with Arjun Erigaisi (IND, 6.5); Deac Bogdan-Daniel (ROU, 5) drew with Haik Martirosyan (ARM, 4.5); Volodar Murzin (RUS, 3) drew with Matthias Blubaum (GER, 3.5); Robert Hovhannisyan (ARM, 4.5) drew with Sam Savian (USA, 5); Shant Sargsyan (ARM, 4) drew with Amin Tabatabai (IRI, 5).

Source: PTI News


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