Sasikiran beats Donchenko to clinch Fagernes Open

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
4/18/2022 – Krishnan Sasikiran was one of three players who entered the final round of the Fagernes Open a half point behind sole leader Aryan Chopra. Sasikiran beat Alexander Donchenko with black to catch up with Aryan, who drew Frode Urkedal on top board. Out of the two Indians, it was Sasikiran who claimed the title, as he had the better tiebreak score at the end of the event. | Photo: Anna Shtourman

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Aryan and Urkedal reach the podium

A strong open tournament took place at the Norwegian city of Fagernes on April 10-17. The lineup was headed by three Indian players: Arjun Erigaisi, Krishnan Sasikiran and Nihal Sarin. They were closely followed rating-wise by Alexander Donchenko from Germany, Aram Hakobyan from Armenia and S.P. Sethuraman, also from India.

With such a well-represented Indian contingent, it is not surprising that five players from the South Asian country finished in the top 10. However, it was not the in-form Arjun who claimed first place, but 41-year-old Sasikiran. The experienced grandmaster from Madras was only the second player from India to reach a 2700 Elo rating, and is currently one of seven Indians belonging to the world top 100 in the official FIDE ratings list.

Sasikiran entered the final round in Fagernes a half point behind Aryan Chopra, the sole leader of the event. Facing Donchenko with black, Sasikiran showcased great tactical awareness to take down his German opponent in 55 moves. 

Aryan, a 20-year-old grandmaster from Delhi, drew Frode Urkedal with the white pieces on top board, which meant he and his older compatriot finished tied atop the standings table on 7 out of 9 points. Sasikiran was declared tournament winner thanks to his better tiebreak score. 

It was notwithstanding a strong performance by Aryan, who beat two grandmasters throughout the event — Stellan Brynell from Sweden and Kaido Kulaots from Estonia. Also satisfied with his performance must be Urkedal, who finished undefeated with a 2672 TPR to claim third place.

Ukrainian FM Semen Mitusov grabbed an IM norm, as he scored 5½ points after beating, among others, Sethuraman and Erik Blomqvist.

Fagernes Chess Open 2022

Top 4 in the GM group: Frode Urkedal (3rd), Aram Hakobyan (4th), Krishnan Sasikiran (1st) and Aryan Chopra (2nd) | Photo: Tom Eriksen


Final standings

Pl Name i-Elo Points TPR
1 GM Krishnan Sasikiran 2650 7 2621 (+1,00)
2 GM Chopra Aryan 2592 7 2618 (+4,60)
3 GM Frode Olav Olsen Urkedal 2539 2672 (+17,60)
4 GM Aram Hakobyan 2612 2642 (+5,90)
5 GM Arjun Erigaisi 2675 6 2661 (-0,20)
6 GM Emre Can 2578 6 2630 (+8,10)
7 GM Kaido Kulaots 2529 6 2618 (+12,30)
8 GM Alexander Donchenko 2619 6 2593 (-0,90)
9 GM Nihal Sarin 2648 6 2582 (-5,10)
10 GM S.P. Sethuraman 2610 6 2543 (-5,50)
11 GM Erik Blomqvist 2550 6 2497 (-3,20)
12 CM Ludvig Carlsson 2411 6 2479 (+7,40)
13 IM Mads Vestby-Ellingsen 2370 6 2374 (+1,40)
14 GM Tiger Hillarp 2511 2550 (+6,50)
15 FM Semen Mitusov 2274 2516 (+53,60)

...71 players

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.