Stepan Avagyan Memorial: Arjun leads by a full point

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
6/17/2024 – The Stepan Avagyan Memorial is taking place in Jermuk, Armenia on June 10-18. A 10-player single round-robin, the tournament includes five Armenian representatives and five international grandmasters. Top seed Arjun Erigaisi is the sole leader with two rounds to go, as he stands a full point ahead of a three-player chasing pack consisting of Amin Tabatabaei, Sam Sevian and Bogdan-Daniel Deac. | Photos: Chess Academy of Armenia

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


India’s number 1, world number 4

Indian prodigies D Gukesh and R Praggnanandhaa, both aged 18, made headlines at the Candidates Tournament a couple of months ago, with Gukesh winning the event to become the youngest-ever challenger for the world chess title. Vidit Gujrathi, aged 29, also played at the all-important event in Toronto, which meant 3 out of the 8 Candidates hailed from India.

None of these three players is the highest-rated Indian representative at the moment, though. The prodigy who has climbed above all of his compatriots (including a semi-retired Vishy Anand) in the world ranking is 20-year-old Arjun Erigaisi.

The rising star from Warangal has climbed four spots in the live ratings list this month thanks to his performances at the French Top 16 team event and the Stepan Avagyan Memorial in Armenia. With a combined 12½/16 performance in the two events, the youngster has gained 15.4 rating to reach the 4th spot in the ratings list, where he stands only below Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana.

In Jermuk, Arjun is one of ten participants playing in a single round-robin which features five Armenian representatives and five international grandmasters. After seven rounds, the Indian star has collected 5 points, with 4 draws to his name and victories over Robert Hovhannisyan, Shant Sargsyan and Matthias Bluebaum.

Standing a full point behind the sole leader are three ambitious contenders, all of which are only a bit older than Arjun: Amin Tabatabaei (aged 23, Iran), Sam Sevian (23, USA) and Bogdan-Daniel Deac (22, Romania). Arjun has already faced the three chasers in Jermuk, and has signed draws in all three games.

In the final two rounds, Arjun is set to face Volodar Murzin (17, FIDE) with white and Manuel Petrosyan (26, Armenia) with black.

Stepan Avagyan Chess Memorial 2024

The playing hall in Jermuk

Arjun 1 - 0 Bluebaum (Round 6)

Analysis by Shahid Ahmed

Arjun gained a couple of pawns in the middlegame. He used them to his advantage and eventually hunted his opponent’s king after a queen exchange was declined. Trading the queens would not have changed the outcome of the game.

38...Qb2 allowed White to finish things early: 39.Qf8+ Kf6 40.Qh8+ Kg5 41.f4+ Kf4 42.Qf6+

Resignation came after 42...Rf5 43.Qh4+

Arjun Erigaisi, Matthias Bluebaum

Arjun Erigaisi v. Matthias Bluebaum

Standings after round 7

All games


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.
Discussion and Feedback Submit your feedback to the editors