Arjun Erigaisi’s remarkable win at the Abu Dhabi Masters

by Shahid Ahmed
8/29/2022 – Arjun Erigaisi won his final-round game against David Anton to clinch first place at the 28th Abu Dhabi Masters. He played with the sole purpose of winning the game, as he kept manoeuvring until his opponent broke and made a mistake. Javokhir Sindarov and Jorden van Foreest claimed second and third place, scoring 7/9 and 6½/9 points, respectively. Six out out of top ten places were claimed by Indians. | Photo: Rupali Mullick

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An impressive Indian contingent

Indian players had outstanding performances in the Abu Dhabi Masters as they claimed six out of the top ten places. A total of five Indians obtained norms. Apart from Aditya Samant, IM P Shyam Nikhil is the only other IM to finish in the top 25. Shyam scored 6/9 to finish in 21st place. He is one GM norm away from becoming India’s next Grandmaster.

Arjun Erigaisi won his final-round game against David Anton to clinch first place. He played with the sole purpose of winning the game, as he kept manoeuvring until his opponent broke and made a mistake. Javokhir Sindarov and Jorden van Foreest claimed second and third place, scoring 7/9 and 6½/9 points, respectively.

The eventual champion, 18-year-old Arjun, opted for the Exchange Variation when he faced Anton’s Caro-Kann Defence.

 

Arjun’s knights are stronger than Black’s bishop pair, due to the almost grid-locked pawn structure. White slowly manoeuvred his king to a3 and then started rearranging his pieces to find the best squares and the best plan.

 

Black decided to give up the f5-pawn as it did not make a big difference. It was more important to control the h-file, thus 43...Qh8 preventing an immediate Rh1. The game continued 44.Nxf5+ Bxf5 45.Qxf5 Qh3 46.Qd3 Qg2 47.Re1 Qf2 48.Re3 Qg1 49.Ne1 preventing all possibilities of a queen invasion on the queenside.

 

Eventually Black crumbled: 63...Kf8 64.c6+- Rc4 65.Qb2 Rxa4+?? 66.Rxa4 Qxa4+ 67.Qa3+. Black resigned as the resultant pawn ending is completely winning for White. Thus, Arjun Erigaisi won the game and became the champion of 28th Abu Dhabi Masters.


The final moments of the deciding game


 

Arjun Erigaisi is currently the second-highest rated Indian player in the world. At 18, he has climbed to the world top 25 in the live ratings list!

Arjun Erigaisi

Source: 2700chess.com

The one who inspired the nation and beyond, Vishy Anand, congratulated Arjun.

Javokhir Sindarov

Runner-up - GM Javokhir Sindarov (Uzbekistan) scored 7/9 points | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Jorden van Foreest

In third place - GM Jorden van Foreest (Netherlands) scored 6½/9 points | Photo: Rupali Mullick


Interview with Arjun Erigaisi


Final standings

A total of 148 players from 31 countries, including 43 GMs, 35 IMs, 7 WGMs and 3 WIMs, took part. The tournament was organized by the Abu Dhabi Chess Club & Mind Games from on August 17-25. The 9-round Swiss tournament had a time control of 90 minutes plus 30- second increments from move one.

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Erigaisi Arjun 7,5 0
2 Sindarov Javokhir 7 0
3 Van Foreest Jorden 6,5 0
4 Robson Ray 6,5 0
5 Yakubboev Nodirbek 6,5 0
6 Nihal Sarin 6,5 0
7 Sethuraman S.P. 6,5 0
8 Samant Aditya S 6,5 0
9 Karthikeyan Murali 6,5 0
10 Aryan Chopra 6,5 0
11 Ter-Sahakyan Samvel 6,5 0
12 Anton Guijarro David 6 0
13 Tomashevsky Evgeny 6 0
14 Indjic Aleksandar 6 0
15 Arjun Kalyan 6 0
16 Salem A.R. Saleh 6 0
17 Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 6 0
18 Tabatabaei M. Amin 6 0
19 Adhiban B. 6 0
20 Vokhidov Shamsiddin 6 0

...148 players


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Shahid Ahmed is the senior coordinator and editor of ChessBase India. He enjoys covering chess tournaments and also likes to play in chess events from time to time.
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