Arjun Erigaisi wins Menorca Open, now world number 7

by André Schulz
4/9/2024 – Sunday saw the end of the excellently organized Open Tournament in Menorca. In the final spurt, Arjun Erigaisi secured tournament victory thanks to his superior tiebreak score. With this triumph, Arjun climbed to number seven in the live ratings list. Kirill Alekseenko and Maksim Chigaev grabbed second and third place, respectively. | Photos: ChessBase India, Menorca Open

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The Spanish Balearic island of Menorca hosted a chess festival with two open classical tournaments and a blitz event on April 2-7. Nine rounds were played in the open tournaments over five days, with double rounds on three days with starting times at 10 am and 5 pm.

The A-Open was outstanding in terms of quantity and quality. A total of 44 grandmasters participated, including many well-known names. India’s Arjun Erigaisi and Nihal Sarin topped the starting rank, as no fewer than 33 players from India took part in the battle for Elo points and prize money. In addition to Arjun and Nihal, Aravindh, Karthik, Pranav V., Aryan, Adhiban, Raja, Pranav V. and Praaneth from India also made their way to Spain. Indian IM Divya Deshmuk was one of the best female participants in the field.

Halfway through the tournament, after five rounds, six players — Aryan Chopra and Nihal Sarin (India), Kirill Alekseenko (Austria), Daniel Dardha (Belgium), Max Warmerdam (Netherlands) and Jan Klimkowski (Poland) — were sharing the lead with 4½ points each. Rating favourite Arjun Erigaisi belonged to the chasing group with 4 points.

After the sixth round, the field of leaders was reduced to two players, Aryan Chopra and Daniel Dardha, both on 5½ points. A draw on the top board in round 7, the leading group expanded again to four players, including Arjun. In round eight, Arjun defeated Aryan Chopra to take the sole lead with 7 points to his name.

In the last round, a draw against Vladimir Fedoseev was enough for Arjun to win the tournament thanks to his good tiebreak score. Kirill Alexeenko and Maksim Chigaev, who used to play for Russia and now play for Austria and Spain, scored as many points as Arjun. With this result, Arjun climbed to seventh place in the live ratings list and is now the highest-rated Indian representative — ahead of Vishy Anand and Gukesh D.

German IM Roven Vogel finished in an excellent seventh place with 7 points. The only defeat of the player from Dresden came against Arjun in round 4. Vogel finished the event with three victories in as many rounds. In round 5, Vogel defeated the Argentinian wonder boy Faustino Oro, the “Messi of chess”.

Final standings

Rg. Snr Name Elo Pkt.  Wtg1   Wtg2   Wtg3 
1 Erigaisi, Arjun 7,5 52,5
Alekseenko, Kirill 7,5 52,5
Chigaev, Maksim 7,5 49
4 Fedoseev, Vladimir 7 51,5
Aryan, Chopra 7 51
Yuffa, Daniil 7 50,5
Vogel, Roven 7 49
8 Dardha, Daniel 6,5 56
Van Foreest, Jorden 6,5 52
Krzyzanowski, Marcin 6,5 51,5
Szpar, Milosz 6,5 51,5
Idani, Pouya 6,5 51,5
Castellanos Rodriguez, Renier 6,5 51
Sosa, Tomas 6,5 50,5
Warmerdam, Max 6,5 50,5
Aravindh, Chithambaram Vr. 6,5 50
Murzin, Volodar 6,5 49,5
Sanal, Vahap 6,5 47,5
Gorshtein, Ido 6,5 47,5
Albornoz Cabrera, Carlos Daniel 6,5 47,5
Zhu, Jiner 6,5 46,5
22 Iermito, Sebastian 6 53
Klimkowski, Jan 6 52
Agmanov, Zhandos 6 50
Pranav, Anand 6 50

...284 players

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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