Sharjah Masters: Erigaisi starts with a win to become India's number one

by André Schulz
5/15/2024 – Defending champion Arjun Erigaisi tops the seeding list at the 7th Sharjah Masters and in the opening round on Tuesday he defeated Eltaj Safarli. With this win Erigaisi overtook Gukesh in the live rankings and is now India's new number one - at least for one day. | Photos: ChessBase India

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Players who have played in the Dubai Masters did not have to travel far to play in the Sharjah Masters: the centres of the two emirates are only abaout 10 km apart. 

However, not all participants in the Dubai Open were able to take advantage of this opportunity, as the organisers of the Sharjah Chess and Culture Club limited the number of participants to 20 per federation.

The Chess and Culture Club

This restriction mainly affects the Indian players, who travelled in large numbers to the Dubai Open. Now, only some of them will be able to play in the Sharjah Open. There are nineteen Indians in the Masters. About the same number still play in the Challengers (players under 2500) and the Futures junior tournament.

Players wishing to participate in the Sharjah Masters must have a minimum Elo of 2500. A few exceptions are made for talented players. The $52,000 prize pool, with a $12,000 first prize, has attracted 88 players to the Masters, 81 of whom hold the Grandmaster title. With nine players above 2700, the tournament is very strong.

Top seed is Arjun Erigaisi. He is the defending champion in Sharjah and after his first round win he is also India's number one. With a live rating of 2765 he is one point and one place ahead of World Championship challenger Gukesh.

Attack like a Super Grandmaster

In this Fritztrainer: “Attack like a Super GM” with Gukesh we touch upon all aspects of his play, with special emphasis on how you can become a better attacking player.

In round one Erigaisi won with White against GM Eltaj Safarli from Azerbaidschan. In a positional line of the Najdorf Erigaisi showed how strong passed pawns can be.

Games - Masters

Games - Challengers


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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