The Indian Grandmaster, Arjun Erigiasi, has won champion at the ongoing Tata Steel Chess 2021 in Kolkata. The Indian held the top seed Levon Aronian to a draw in the final round to clinch the title.
R Praggnanandhaa finished third. MeanwhileVisit Gujrathi and Murali Karthikeyan took the remaining places in the top-five. Arjun will now replace Adhiban Baskaran in the Blitz category.
Heading into the final round with a one-point advantage, Arjun had to overcome the final hurdle — arguably his toughest challenge in top-seed Aronian. Thereafter the customary fist bump, things got underway as Arjun stuck with his pet opening.The Petroff, in response to Aronian’s 1. As he needed a draw to seal the issue. But a well-prepared Aronian played out the initial moves quite quickly and on move 16, the Armenian No 1 cashed in on an opportunity to win a pawn, putting Arjun in a spot of bother.
Hailing from the southern Indian state of Telangana, Arjun had a fantastic tournament in Kolkata and was the sole leader coming into the final day of the event. Besidealso He defeated the likes of GM Sam Shankland, GM Karthikeyan Murali, GM Parham Maghsoodloo, GM Le Quang Liem, and IM R Vaishali en route his title win.
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Arjun’s only loss in the tournament came against fellow Indian youngster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa as he finished on the top with 6.5 points out of a possible 9.
With a podium finish in sight, Murali Karthikeyan went all out, unleashing the King’s Indian Defense against R Praggnanandhaa. It was an extremely hard-fought battle as both players brought in their A-game. The two-time National champion managed to tick all boxes playing the King’s Indian bringing all his pieces into the game.