A fantastic year for Arjun
Arjun Erigaisi’s good form began last summer at Goldmoney Asian Rapid, when he reached the quarter-finals against incredibly strong opposition. Then he won the rapid section of the Tata Steel India tournament in Kolkata and the Challengers in Wijk aan Zee. The current Indian national champion has now picked up another victory, in the first leg of the MPL Indian Chess Tour, an online event that serves as a qualifier for the elite Meltawer Champions Tour.
In the 15 round tournament, a football scoring system was in place, with 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw. Arjun collected 8 wins, 6 draws and 1 loss for a final score of 30/45. In only second place, three points behind, was 16-year-old Raunak Sadhwani, while Gukesh and Surya Ganguly each picked up 25 points to secure third and fourth places respectively.
On Sunday, Arjun, who was already the sole leader, defeated Sankalp Gupta with the black pieces in his first game of the day.
In this knight ending with equal material, White made a few consecutive inaccuracies, like 33.h3 e5 34.c4 turned things in Black’s favor.
Arjun had a 5-point lead with two rounds to go and secured first place with draws against Sethuraman and Adhiban in his last two games of the event. He then tweeted:
Another victory in the bag! 😎
—Arjun Erigaisi (@ArjunErigaisi) April 3, 2022
In the official FIDE Classical Chess Ratings list for April, Arjun is ranked number 4 in India, only behind Anand, Vidit and Harikrishna. Given his great form, he is likely to make the national team at this year’s Olympiad – India will host the huge team event in about three months.