Levon Aronian wins Satty Zhuldyz Rapid and Blitz 2023

by Shahid Ahmed
4/26/2023 – Former sole leader Arjun Erigaisi faltered on the second day of blitz at the Satty Zhuldyz Rapid and Blitz tournament in Kazakhstan. The only two-time FIDE World Cup winner in history, Levon Aronian, took his chance and won the event with a round to spare. Arjun finished second with 21½/33 points and Haik Martirosyan finished third with 21/33. | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

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Martirosyan beats Aronian and tops the blitz

The next best thing to winning the tournament is considered to be beating the champion of the tournament. Arjun could not do it, Martirosyan could. In fact, Armenia’s number two player was the only player to remain undefeated against Aronian in both the rapid and the blitz events. Aronian managed to beat the remaining ten players at least once. 

Arjun Erigaisi

Runner-up: Arjun Erigaisi | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Haik Martirosyan

Third place overall and winner of the blitz: Haik Martirosyan | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

The key game for Arjun — who had won the rapid section — in his attempt to win the tournament was the first game of the day againstMartirosyan. The game ended in a draw.

Haik Martirosyan, Arjun Erigaisi

It was a must-win game for Arjun in round 12 if he wanted to set the tone for the day | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Aronian won the tournament with a round to spare. Thus, a final-round against Martirosyan had no impact on his overall result. Martirosyan, remarkably, has never lost against Aronian in rated games.

Levon Aronian, Haik Martirosyan

Haik Martirosyan secured his place on the podium by beating Levon Aronian in the final round of blitz | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Satty Zhuldyz Chess Tournament 2023

The participants of the Satty Zhuldyz Rapid and Blitz Tournament 2023 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Video gallery by ChessBase India

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A fierce rook endgame on the board - Vincent Keymer vs Alexander Grischuk

An epic pawn race - Jakhongir Vakhidov vs Hou Yifan

Haik Martirosyan vs Vincent Keymer

A stunning queen blunder - Bibisara Assaubayeva vs Vincent Keymer

The revenge of the strongest woman player in the world? - Hou Yifan vs Arjun Erigaisi

Two consecutive blunders - Levon Aronian vs Haik Martirosyan

Final standings - Blitz

All games - Blitz

Final standings - Rapid

All games - Rapid


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.