Sharjah: Aravindh keeps sole lead, six players a half point back

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
5/20/2024 – Draws on the top three boards in round 6 of the Sharjah Masters allowed Aravindh Chithambaram to keep the sole lead in the standings. Arjun Erigaisi and Alexey Sarana grabbed full points to join the chasing pack, which now includes six players. Meanwhile, fourth seed Teimour Radjabov obtained a remarkable win over Arseniy Nesterov, his first of the event. | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

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Arjun and Sarana join the chasing pack

Aravindh Chithambaram signed a 24-move draw with Sam Shankland to keep his spot as sole leader atop the standings of the Sharjah Masters. Six players now stand a half point behind the Indian GM, as top seed Arjun Erigaisi and Alexey Sarana both grabbed wins in round 6 to join the chasing pack.

Arjun’s victory over Daniil Yuffa gained him 3.1 rating points, allowing him to overtake Gukesh in the live ratings list to again become India’s number one.

Yuffa had a piece for Arjun’s three extra pawns when he faltered decisively while in time trouble. 38.Rf4 looks like a natural way to release the tension on the kingside, but it fails to a simple-yet-effective tactical idea.

39...Qb3 threatens to capture both the knight on d3 and the rook on d1. Moreover, after 40.Rxf5, there is 40...Rxd3, and both white rooks are under attack. Yuffa, who surely missed this geometric theme due to time trouble, resigned shortly after.

In Monday’s seventh round (the 9-round open will end on Wednesday), sole leader Aravindh will play white against Bardiya Daneshvar, while the battle between the top two seeds — Arjun and Parham Maghsoodloo — will take place on board 4.

Arjun Erigaisi, Daniil Yuffa

Arjun Erigaisi defeated Daniil Yuffa with the black pieces | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Radjabov 1 - 0 Nesterov

Analysis by Klaus Besenthal

Teimour Radjabov, a 3-time Candidates’ participant, entered the Sharjah Masters as the fourth seed, and started the event with five consecutive draws. In round 6, however, he obtained a memorable victory over Arseniy Nesterov, one that featured both instructive strategic play and a nice tactical conclusion.

Arseniy Nesterov, Teimour Radjabov

Teimour Radjabov playing white against Arseniy Nesterov on board 16 — open tournaments are becoming increasingly competitive as the years go by | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Standings after round 6

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