Nihal Sarin, Sprint champion, Blitz champion Arjun Erigeisi, Sprint champion Anna Ushenina & Blitz champion R. Vaishali at Tata Stee Chess on 4th December 2022. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI
India’s burgeoning reputation in international chess is underlined in great style on the green and serene campus of the National Library here on a pleasant and cool Sunday evening.
In a tournament featuring some of the biggest names in mind sports, the country’s young talent won both titles in the blitz section of Tata Steel Chess India. If Arjun Erigaisi’s victory wasn’t a surprise in the open events, R. Vaishali’s win, in the women’s event, was, of course.
R. Vaishali contemplates next steps at Tata Stee Chess on 4th December 2022. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI
“This is the best tournament win of my career,” said the 21-year-old from Chennai. This win should have been a heavy blow to R. Praggnanandhaa’s older sister, who, however, put in a disappointing showing, finishing sixth in the opening round. Arjun won the section with one round remaining.
Arjun Erigaisi moves at Tata Steel Chess in Kolkata on 4th December 2022. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI
“Last year, I wasn’t the favorite, and this time I want to win the blitz after finishing second in the rapid,” said Arjun, who last year won the rapid and finished second in the blitz.
In the blitz, Nakamura finished second and Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov finished third. In the women’s section, Mariya Muzychuk from Ukraine took the runner-up position, while D. Harika finished third.
Results (India unless specified): Eighteenth round: Open: Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 11.5 bt R. Praggnanandhaa 8.5; D. Gukesh 6.5 lost to Wesley So (USA) 8; Vidit Gujrathi 9 bt Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) 9.5; Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzb) 7.5 drew with Parham Maghsoodloo (IRI) 9; Nihal Sarin 8 drew with Arjun Erigaisi 12.5.
Woman: Koneru Humpy 9.5 bt Oliwia Kiolbasa (Pol) 6; R. Vaishali 13.5 drawing with Anna Ushenina (Ukr) 8.5; B. Savitha Shri 6.5 lost to Dronavalli Harika 11; Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr) 12 lost to Nana Dzagnidze (Geo) 8.5; Anna Muzychuk (Ukr) 10.5 bt Bhakti Kulkarni 4.
Standings: Open: 1. Arjuna; 2. Hikaru Nakamura; 3. Mamyedarov; 4-5. Parham and Vidit; 6. Praggnanandhaa; 7-8. Nihal and So; 9. Abdusattorov; 10. Gukesh.
Woman: 1. Vaishali; 2. Mariya Muzychuk; 3. Harika; 4. Anna Muzychuk; 5. Hump; 6-7. Ushenina and Dzagnidze; 8. Savitha; 9. Kiolbase; 10. Devotion.