Chennai Masters R3: Arjun pulverizes Predke

by Shahid Ahmed
12/17/2023 – Arjun Erigaisi scored his first win of the event against Alexandr Predke in the third round of the Chennai Grand Masters 2023. After losing the first round against Harikrishna, Arjun was virtually in a must-win situation to stay in the championship hunt and keep his chances in the FIDE Circuit. Predke made a positional mistake which allowed his opponent to force the queen exchange. Arjun made the most out of his opportunity to trail the leaders — Sanan Sjugirov and Harikrishna — by a half point at 1.5/3 along with Levon Aronian, Pavel Eljanov and D Gukesh. | Photos: Shahid Ahmed

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Harikrishna escapes against Eljanov

A mutual blunder between Harikrishna and Eljanov allowed the former to salvage a half point via perpetual check. Gukesh had a relatively calm draw against Parham Maghsoodloo.

Chennai Grand Masters 2023 Official logo

Harikrishna - Eljanov: 0.5-0.5

The sole rated game played earlier this year between GM Pentala Harikirshna and GM Pentala Eljanov ended in a draw at the World Rapid Team Championship. Their last decisive rated game occurred in 2019.

White should have taken on b5 here with 26.Bxb5. Instead, he went for an adventurous 26.Bxh7+? which is incorrect if Black plays correctly. Fortunately for White, his opponent didn't. 26...Kxh7 27.Qh4+ Kg8 28.Rh5 f5 29.Rh8+ Kf7 30.Qh5+ Kf6?? Black blundered. 30...Qg6 would have been winning for White — 31.Re7+ Kf6 32.Qe2 Rxh8 33.Qe5+ Kg7 34.Rxg7 is what Harikrishna felt to be his only way to continue the fight. White got an opportunity to force a perpetual: 31.Rh6+ gxh6 32.Qxh6+ Kf7 33.Qh7+ Kf6 34.Qh6+ Kf7 and it's a draw.

Harikrishna goes crazy! Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

Pentala Harikrishna and Pavel Eljanov react to the live commentary of their own game as there is a 15-minute delay in the transmission of the moves | Video: ChessBase India

Harikrishna and Eljanov had an exciting draw, but it was certainly not a thrilling one for Harikrishna

Dark Bishop vs Knotty Knight - Sanan v Aronian | Video: ChessBase India

My strategy was to play crappy chess - Levon Aronian | Video: ChessBase India

Sanan Sjugirov and Levon Aronian had an interesting draw

Parham Maghsoodloo and D Gukesh had a relatively calm draw

Arjun - Predke: 1-0

GM Arjun Erigaisi played only two rated games against GM Alexandr Predke. He lost the first one and drew the second. It was time for Arjun to deliver the equalizer.

26...Bg4 allowed White to force a queen trade after 27.Rxe3 Qxe3 28.Qd4 Qxd4 29.Nxd4. However, Arjun was unsure how he would make progress if his opponent went for 29...a5. Thus, after 29...Bd7, he immediately went 30.a5 to make a breakthrough on the queenside and push for a win. It was not easy, but White showed some fine technique to convert his advantage into a win.

Arjun Erigaisi, how are you so good? | Arjun vs Predke - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

Arjun Erigaisi scored a very nice victory over Alexandr Predke

Levon Aronian greeted by Samantha Jackson, Public Diplomacy Press Officer and Spokesperson at the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai

Samantha Jackson shared a few words before inaugurating the round

Sunday means it's packed to the brim

The live audience following the commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal, also getting to witness the players' analysis live in person

For more photos, please click here.

Samantha Jackson inaugurates Round 3 of the Chennai Grand Masters 2023 | Video: ChessBase India

People behind the organization of the Chennai Grand Masters 2023 | Video: ChessBase India

Arjun the boss! | IM Sagar Shah's Round 3 summary | Video: ChessBase India

Anti-Cheating Measures at the Chennai Grand Masters 2023 | Video: ChessBase India

Those who wish to spectate the tournament at the venue, please click here and check the procedure.

Replay Round 3 live stream

Replay the round-3 live commentary by IM Sagar Shah, Amruta Mokal with guest commentators GM Anish Giri and IM Sopiko Guramishvili | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 3 games

Round 3 results

Bo. No. Rtg Name Result Name Rtg No. PGN
1 2 2742
GM Maghsoodloo, Parham ½ - ½ GM Gukesh, D
2720 8
2 3 2703
GM Sjugirov, Sanan ½ - ½ GM Aronian, Levon
2723 1
3 4 2696
GM Harikrishna, Pentala ½ - ½ GM Eljanov, Pavel
2691 7
4 5 2727
GM Erigaisi, Arjun 1 - 0 GM Predke, Alexandr
2689 6


Standings after Round 3

Rk. SNo Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3   TB4 
1 Sjugirov, Sanan 2 0
2 Harikrishna, Pentala 2 0
3 Aronian, Levon 1,5 0
4 Eljanov, Pavel 1,5 0
5 Gukesh, D 1,5 0
6 Erigaisi, Arjun 1,5 0
7 Predke, Alexandr 1 0
8 Maghsoodloo, Parham 1 0


Round 4 pairings

Bo. No. Rtg Name Result Name Rtg No. PGN
1 8 2720
GM Gukesh, D GM Predke, Alexandr
2689 6
2 7 2691
GM Eljanov, Pavel GM Erigaisi, Arjun
2727 5
3 1 2723
GM Aronian, Levon GM Harikrishna, Pentala
2696 4
4 2 2742
GM Maghsoodloo, Parham GM Sjugirov, Sanan
2703 3



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.