Nihal, Arjun tied for top place in World Blitz

India’s Nihal Sarin and Arjun Erigaisi were among the eight joint leaders after 12 rounds on the opening day at the 2023 FIDE World Blitz Chess Championship in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Friday.

Nihal Sarin is an Indian grandmaster.(Twitter)

The Indian Grandmasters were tied on 9 points along with freshly-crowned rapid champion Magnus Carlsen, Vladislav Artemiev, Daniil Dubov, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Alexander Riazantsev.

Wrap up the year gone by & gear up for 2024 with HT! Click here

Both Sarin and Erigaisi shared the top spot with 8.5 points after the 11th and penultimate round and settled for draws in the day’s final round. While the former split a point with Dubov playing with white, the latter did so with Artemiev.

After beginning with three draws, Sarin had four straight wins over Mitrabha Guha, Mahammad Muradli, Alexey Dreev and Denis Makhnev before also beating Vahap Sanal and Artemiev.

Erigaisi, meanwhile, suffered an early defeat against Aleksandr Rakhmanov in the second round but turned it around against Venkataraman Karthik and Sumiya Chinguun with black. He followed it up by beating Jakhongir Vakhidov, Javokhir Sindarov, Volodar Murzin, Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder, Aleksandar Indjic and Rauf Mamedov before the final-round draw.

Among other Indians in fray, SL Narayanan and Vidit Gujrathi are both on 8 points while R Praggnanandhaa, who endured four defeats including in the final two rounds after a bright start of five straight victories, finds himself below the pack with 7.5 points.

Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi, meanwhile, played out a nervy draw in the final round.

The competition will continue on Friday, with 9 more rounds to unfold.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *