Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: National Champion Arjun Erigaisi crashed through the defenses of Karthik Venkataraman to win the 19th Delhi International open chess tournament here today.
Starting the day in a five-way lead and having the best tiebreak, Arjun came up with another inspired effort and went for an offensive right from the word go in a Sicilian Najdorf game as white and even though Karthik posed some challenge in the middle game, the young National champion romped home easily with some finely crafted manoeuvres.
The victory fetched Arjun Rs four lakh rupees as the winner’s purse plus a trophy.
With this win Arjun scaled past 2675 in live Elo ratings and looks certainty for the main team in the forthcoming Chess Olympiad at Chennai
Earlier this month he had won the National championship at Kanpur quite easily and that means his winnings this month are Rs ten lakhs in all.
D Gukesh, who had also fought tooth and nail with Arjun in the national championship, defeated last event’s winner Abhijeet Gupta from a level endgame to finish second. The Nimzo Indian by Gukesh as black led to a level endgame but Abhijeet took unwarranted risks leading to his downfall. It was almost the repeat of last round of the National championship when Abhijeet had a similar fate out of the same opening against Gukesh.
Harsha Bharthakoti finished third on tiebreak defeating S P Sethuraman who played black. For the records, Arjun, Gukesh and Harsh all ended up on 8.5 points out of a possible ten.
The top ten: Erigaisi Arjun, D Gukesh, Harsha Bharathakoti (8.5 each); 4. Nigmatov Ortik (8); 5-10: S P Sethuraman, Delgado Ramirez Neuris, M R Lalith Babu, Abhijeet Gupta, Neelash Saha, Gholami Orimi Mahdi (7.5 each).
The Delhi open next year will be a much bigger event in several categories with Rs. 1.25 Crores as prize money.