TePe Sigeman & Co: Arjun wins two in a row, leads

by André Schulz
5/5/2022 – Two rounds, two wins. Arjun Erigaisi won his second game at the Tepe Sigemann & Co tournament in Malmö. The Indian grandmaster’s victory over Saleh Salem was the only decisive game of the second round. The other three games ended in draws, with Alexei Shirov and Jorden van Foreest playing a particularly fierce battle. | Photos: Lars OA Hedlund

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A star on the rise

Indian grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi is one of the rising stars of recent times. As a 13-year-old, he won the gold medal in the Asian U14 Championships in 2017. At 14 years, 11 months and 13 days, he became one of the youngest players in chess history to be awarded the grandmaster title. And in 2019, he won the U16 Commonwealth Championships.

Despite his successes, Arjun was somewhat overshadowed by other Indian talents like Praggnanandhaa, Nihal Sarin and Gukesh, who made more headlines for a while. But with his impressive performance at the Goldmoney Asian Rapid tournament last year, Arjun played his way into the limelight. Finally, with his remarkable victory at the Challenger tournament in Wijk aan Zee, it was clear that a major star was on the rise.

India, with its many strong players, occupies fourth place in the FIDE ranking of countries. And Arjun, with a 2675 rating, is also number four in India’s national ranking. Only Anand, Vidit and Harikrishna are ahead of him. In the list of top 100 juniors, Arjun has moved past Vincent Keymer to number three, behind Alireza Firouzja and Andrey Esipenko.

In the first round of the Tepe Sigeman & Co tournament in Malmö, the youngster emerged victorious from a sharp tactical battle against Alexey Shirov in the Botvinnik Variation of the Semi-Slav Defence.

In the second round, again playing white, he faced Saleh Salem from the United Arab Emirates. With an Elo of 2690, Salem was the slight rating favourite. However, the game soon became one-sided. Salem came out of the opening quite well in the Fantasy Variation of the Caro-Kann Defence, but then failed to find a good plan, while his opponent systematically built up an attacking position.

 

The other three games ended drawn. Alexey Shirov and Jorden van Foreest had a wild battle in the Advance Variation of the Caro-Kann, in which the Spaniard never castled. The game between Michael Adams and Nils Grandelius in the Najdof Variation with 6.Be2 was calmer. David Navara and Hans Niemann also split the point after an interesting game in which White gave up his queen for a rook and a minor piece.

Round 2 results

 

Standings after round 2

 

All games

 

Links


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