Sharjah: Aravindh sole leader after beating Salem

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
5/19/2024 – Aravindh Chithambaram became the first sole leader at the 2024 Sharjah Masters after beating Saleh Salem in Saturday’s fifth round. The 24-year-old Indian GM has so far collected 4½ points and stands a half point ahead of a 4-player chasing pack consisting of Amin Tabatabaei, Hans Niemann, Sam Shankland and Bardiya Daneshvar. Aravindh is set to face Shankland with black on Sunday. | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

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Closing in on the 2700 mark

Ten Indian players currently belong to the world top 100 in the live ratings list, with half of them standing above the 2700 rating mark. After having a remarkable performance at the Dubai Police Global Tournament and starting strong at the Sharjah Masters, Aravindh Chithambaram is only 2.1 points away from surpassing the coveted mark.

Aravindh, aged 24, perhaps is less well-known than his younger compatriots Nihal Sarin or Raunak Sadhwani, but as pointed out by Thorsten Cmiel, he now has a real chance of making it to the extremely competitive Indian national team in the upcoming Chess Olympiad.


Before tying for first in Dubai (and getting second place on tiebreak criteria), Aravindh emerged victorious at the La Roda Open in Spain, where he collected 7½/9 points and obtained a memorable win over 3-time Spanish champion Eduardo Iturrizaga.

Aravindh became the sole leader in Sharjah after obtaining a fine positional victory over Saleh Salem in round 5. The Indian GM stands a half point ahead of a 4-player chasing pack consisting of Amin Tabatabaei, Hans Niemann, Sam Shankland and Bardiya Daneshvar.

Out of the four chasers, only Niemann — who entered round 4 as a co-leader — signed a draw on Saturday. Tabatabaei beat Abhimanyu Puranik, Shankland got the better of Mahammad Muradli and Daneshvar managed to upset Javokhir Sindarov.

In Sunday’s sixth round, Aravindh will play with the black pieces against Shankland.

Aravindh Chithambaram, Saleh Salem

Aravindh Chithambaram facing Saleh Salem | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Sindarov 0 - 1 Daneshvar

Analysis by Klaus Besenthal

Standings after round 5


Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Aravindh, Chithambaram Vr. 4,5 0
2 Tabatabaei, M. Amin 4 0
3 Niemann, Hans Moke 4 0
4 Daneshvar, Bardiya 4 0
5 Shankland, Sam 4 0
6 Salem, A.R. Saleh 3,5 0
7 Sarana, Alexey 3,5 0
8 Murzin, Volodar 3,5 0
9 Fedoseev, Vladimir 3,5 0
10 Yuffa, Daniil 3,5 0
11 Sankalp, Gupta 3,5 0
12 Erigaisi, Arjun 3,5 0
13 Yu, Yangyi 3,5 0
14 Puranik, Abhimanyu 3 0
15 Theodorou, Nikolas 3 0
16 Muradli, Mahammad 3 0
17 Royal, Shreyas 3 0
18 Maurizzi, Marc`andria 3 0
19 Pranav, V 3 0
20 Sindarov, Javokhir 3 0
21 Iniyan, Pa 3 0
22 Suleymanli, Aydin 3 0
23 Maghsoodloo, Parham 3 0
24 Sevian, Samuel 3 0
25 Adhiban, B. 3 0

...88 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.
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