Indian Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi on Sunday hogged the spotlight, beating world champion Magnus Carlsen in round seven of the preliminaries of the Aimchess Rapid online chess tournament. The 19-year-old Erigaisi, who had gone down to compatriot Vidit Santosh Gujrathi to make a losing start in the event, is currently in fifth place after eight rounds. The win over Norwegian superstar Carlsen in the seventh round early on Sunday was the Indian’s first over the world champion.
Erigaisi won three straight games, beating Nils Grandelius (Sweden), Daniel Naroditsky (USA) and Carlsen before settling for a draw against Jan-Krzyszstof Duda (Poland).
He has 15 points and is in fifth place behind Uzbekistan’s Nodirbek Abdusattorov (17 points), Shahkriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) and Carlsen (both 16) and Duda (15).
Erigaisi had last month lost to Carlsen in the final of the Julius Baer Generation Cup online tournament. His 54-move win over the world champion enabled him to bounce back after a slow start to the event and brought him back in the top eight.
Another Indian D Gukesh is in sixth place with 12 points after mixed fortunes on the second day of the preliminaries.
After beating fellow countryman P Harikrishna in round five, he lost to Abdusattorov and Naroditsky in the sixth and eighth round respectively. In between, he beat Grandelius in the seventh.
The other Indian players in the fray, Gujrathi, Aditya Mittal and Harikrishna are in 10th, 11th and 15th spots after eight rounds of the 15-round preliminary phase.
Gujrathi had an impressive win over world rapid champion Abdusattorov but draws against Grandelius and Naroditsky and a defeat at the hands of Carlsen pegged him back.
Carlsen has not been at his best so far, having suffered two defeats (to Mamedyarov and Erigaisi) and escaped with a draw against young Indian GM Mittal in round four.
He faces Gukesh in the ninth round.
The Aimchess Rapid tournament is part of the Meltwater Champions Tour and features 16 players, including five from India.
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