Sitges: Eight players share the lead

by André Schulz
12/22/2021 – In the last three days the number of leaders at the Sunway Sitges Open has always doubled, and by now the leading group consists of eight players with 6.5/8 each. Among them is the young Indian Arjun Erigaisi (pictured) who won a fine attacking game in round eight. But most of the top matches in round eight ended in a draw which allowed a number of players to catch up to the leaders. | Photos: Rupali Mullick

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After eight of ten rounds no less than eight players share the lead at the 8th Sunway Sitges Open. After six rounds Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Dmitrij Kollars shared the lead, after seven rounds, four players shared the lead, and after eight rounds eight players are at the top.

The reason for this traffic jam at the top of the table were the many draws in the top encounters. Ivan Cheparinov and Dmitrij Kollars drew after 118 moves and Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Abhimanyu Puranik also fought hard until they shared the point.

Top seed Anton Korobov played with Black against Daniel Dardha, and this game also ended in a draw.

The young Indian Arjun Erigaisi, however, won an energetic attacking game against Mahammad Muradli from Azerbaijan.

Erigaisi,Arjun (2629) - Muradli,Mahammad (2503) [B23]

Sunway Sitges Open 2021 Sitges (8.4), 21.12.2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bb5+ Bd7 6.Bc4 The Grand Prix attack is a direct and dangerous set-up against the Sicilian.

6...Nc6 7.d3 e6 8.f5!? The line 8.0–0 Nge7 9.f5 exf5 10.Qe1 Ne5 11.exf5 Bxf5 12.Nxe5 has White also brought some success.

8...Nf6 After 8...exf5 White plays 9.0–0, and now Black cannot play 9...fxe4 (after 9...Nge7 White continues the attack with 10.Qe1) because after 10.Ng5 he cannot defend f7.

9.Bf4 Qe7?! 9...Nd4=

10.Nb5 e5 11.Bg5 Threatening Nc7 while emphasising the weakness of d5.

11...0–0–0 12.Nc3 Rdf8 13.Nd5 Qd8 14.0–0 gxf5 15.exf5 Nb4 15...Bxf5? 16.Nd2 costs Black a piece.


16.Ne3 Black's opening strategy backfired completely and he is already in big trouble.

16...h6 17.Bh4 Rhg8 18.c3 Nc6 19.Nd2 Na5 19...Qc7 20.Ne4 Nxe4 21.dxe4 Na5 22.Be7+–

20.Ne4 Bc6 21.Nd5 b5 21...Bxd5 22.Bxd5 Nc6 23.Bxc6 bxc6 24.Qa4+–


22.Nexf6 22.Ndxf6!?

22...Bxf6 23.Bxf6 Rxg2+ 24.Kxg2 Qxf6 25.b4 Nxc4 25...Nb7 26.Bb3+–

26.dxc4 Qh4 27.Qf3 Bb7 28.cxb5 Rg8+ 29.Kh1 e4 30.Qe3 Bxd5 31.Rg1 Rg5 32.Rxg5 hxg5 33.Rd1 Black's position collapses. 33...Bb7 34.Rxd6 1–0

Standings after eight rounds

Rk. Name Pts.  Tb1 
1 Sethuraman S.P. 6,5 42,0
2 Van Foreest Lucas 6,5 39,5
3 Abdusattorov Nodirbek 6,5 39,0
4 Puranik Abhimanyu 6,5 37,5
5 Cheparinov Ivan 6,5 37,5
6 Kollars Dmitrij 6,5 37,5
7 Safarli Eltaj 6,5 37,0
8 Erigaisi Arjun 6,5 35,5
9 Niemann Hans Moke 6,0 39,5
10 Kadric Denis 6,0 38,5
11 Korobov Anton 6,0 37,0
12 Dardha Daniel 6,0 37,0
13 Nihal Sarin 6,0 36,0
14 Sankalp Gupta 6,0 35,5
15 Pranav Anand 6,0 35,5
16 Fier Alexandr 6,0 35,0
17 Harsha Bharathakoti 6,0 35,0
18 Kulaots Kaido 6,0 34,5
19 Quintiliano Pinto Renato R. 6,0 33,0
20 Kacharava Nikolozi 6,0 32,0
21 Pranesh M 5,5 38,5
22 Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo 5,5 37,0
23 Vocaturo Daniele 5,5 37,0
24 Muradli Mahammad 5,5 37,0
25 Rios Cristhian Camilo 5,5 37,0

280 players




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


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