After finishing runner-up in the quick event, Arjun Erigaisi has also made a strong bid for the top prize in the blitz section of the Tata Steel Chess India tournament as well. He entered the final day as the sole leader.

By the end of round nine at the National Library here on Saturday, Arjun, last year’s sprint champion and blitz runner-up, had 6.5 points. With nine rounds remaining, he is followed a half point behind by Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Vidit Gujrathi has 5.5 points, while Nihal Sarin, the champion in the fast division, has five points, along with top seed Hikaru Nakamura of the United States. Arjun had beaten the American in black in the eighth round and his only loss of the day came against Mamedyarov in the sixth.

On the women’s side, R. Vaishali was in second place, with seven points, one point behind sole leader Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine. Dronavalli Harika, who took third place in the sprint race, shared third place, with Muzychuk’s older sister, Anna.

Vaishali scored some significant wins against Nana Dzagnidze of Georgia, fellow Indian Koneru Humpy and Anna Ushenina of Ukraine, winner of the women’s quick event. However, it was other Indian girls who attracted attention in the early rounds, three of which were won by B. Savitha Shri, who defeated Dzagnidze and the elder of the Muzychuk brothers, but was unable to build on that momentum.

Result (India unless specified)

Ninth round

Open: R. Praggnanandhaa 4 lost to Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 5; Wesley So (USA) 3 bt D. Gukesh 4; Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) 6 lost to Vidit Gujrathi 5.5; Maghsoodloo Parham (IRI) 4 drew with Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzb) 2; Arjun Erigaisi 6.5 drew with Nihal Sarin 5.

Women: Oliwia Kiolbasa (Pol) 3 lost to Koneru Humpy 4.5; Anna Ushenina (Ukr) 4 lost to R. Vaishali 7; Dronavalli Harika 5 bt B. Savitha Shri 4; Nana Dzagnidze (Geo) lost to Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr) 8; Bhakti Kulkari 2.5 bt Anna Muzychuk (Ukr) 5.

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