Nihal beats Balog in Armageddon, wins Cluj Grand Prix Rapid

by Shahid Ahmed
6/19/2024 – Nihal Sarin won the Cluj Grand Prix Rapid 2024 after beating Hungarian GM Imre Balog in Armageddon with the white pieces. This was the second leg of the Romania GP 2024. The talented Indian teenager scored 8½/10 and so did Balog. Their seventh-round battle ended in a draw, and thus they had to play an Armageddon decider. Spanish GM Jaime Santos scored 8/10 to finish third. Vishy Anand’s presence as a VIP guest added more to the prestige of the event. | Photo: Federația Română de Șah

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Nihal is the victor in a must-win Armageddon

When it comes to speed chess, one should never bet against Nihal Sarin, be it over-the-board or online. He is that good when the time available is reduced. This is Nihal's first tournament triumph of the year. We hope this is the first of many to come in the next few months. The third leg of the GP will take place at Brasov in Romania from 15th to 21st July 2024.

A total of 314 players, including 22 GMs, 11 IMs and 3 WGMs, from 17 countries across the world participated in this two-day ten-round rapid open tournament. It was organized by the Romanian Chess Federatio in Cluj on 13th and 14th June 2024. The time control of the event was 15 minutes + 5 seconds increment per move.

The Armageddon decider

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Photo gallery

Cluj Chess Grand Prix Romania 2024

Top 3 (L to R): GM Imre Balog (HUN) 8½/10, GM Nihal Sarin (IND) 8½/10, and GM Jaime Santos (ESP) 8/10 with Vishy Anand | Photo: Federația Română de Șah

Cluj Chess Grand Prix Romania 2024

Women top 3 (L to R): WGM Petra Papp (HUN) 6½/9, FM Nadya Toncheva (BUL) 7/9, and tournament winner IM Irina Bulmaga (ROU) 7½/9 with Vishy Anand | Photo: Federația Română de Șah

Cluj Chess Grand Prix Romania 2024

Nihal Sarin in action | Photo: Saji Mathew

Cluj Chess Grand Prix Romania 2024

Top boards playing on the stage | Photo: Federația Română de Șah

Cluj Chess Grand Prix Romania 2024

Players, parents and accompanying persons at the closing ceremony | Photo: Federația Română de Șah

More videos

Vishy Anand to meet Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf in Cluj

Nihal Sarin talks about the Gukesh v. Ding Liren World Championship match

Final standings

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Nihal, Sarin 8,5 1
2 Balog, Imre 8,5 2
3 Santos Latasa, Jaime 8 0
4 Shevchenko, Kirill 8 0
5 Erdos, Viktor 8 0
6 Gavrilescu, David 8 0
7 Solodovnichenko, Yuri 8 0
8 Sokolov, Ivan 8 0
9 Fedoseev, Vladimir 8 0
10 Glek, Igor 7,5 0
11 Secheres, Adrian-Simion 7,5 0
12 Sachilaru, Alexandru 7,5 0
13 Kantor, Gergely 7,5 0
14 Istratescu, Andrei 7,5 0
15 Kuzubov, Yuriy 7,5 0
16 Bulmaga, Irina 7,5 0
17 Filip, Lucian-Ioan 7,5 0
18 Stoleriu, George 7,5 0
19 Narayanan, S L 7 0
20 Magold, Filip 7 0

...314 players

All available games


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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