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Arjun Erigaisi and S.L.Narayanan lead Elllobregat Open

by Satanick Mukhuty - 09/12/2019

Arjun Erigaisi and S.L.Narayanan lead the Elllobregat Open 2019 after the completion of six rounds here in Catalonia, Spain. The duo has remained unbeaten so far scoring an impressive 5.0/6 each to pull ahead of the rest of the field by half a point. The highlight of the event's sixth round however was GM Karthik Venkatraman beating the top-seeded Maxime Lagarde, while earlier in the fifth round it was IM Raja Harshit who grabbed all the eyeballs by stunning Karthikeyan Murali with black pieces. In this report we bring you a brief overview of the most important moments from rounds five and six.

Indians continue to dominate Elllobregat Open 2019 

The domination of Indian players at the ongoing Elllobregat Open is getting noticeably stronger with each passing round. The talented 16-year-old Arjun Erigaisi and former World Junior bronze medallist S.L.Narayanan have already emerged as the leaders after six rounds with 5.0/6 points each; while players like Shardul Gagare, Iniyan P, Karthik Venkatraman, Abhimanyu Puranik, Raja Rithvik R, and Raja Harshit are convincingly consolidating their places in the chasing group. Let us begin by looking at GM Karthik Venkatraman's game from the last round where the Indian stole the show by pulling off a crushing victory against the tournament's top-seed Maxime Lagarde.

Karthik Venkatraman suffered an unfortunate loss against Belgium's Rein Verstraeten in round two but he recovered well, picking up pace with three victories and one draw in the last four rounds | Photo: Patricia Claros Aguilar

Karthik Venkatraman - Maxime Lagarde, Round 6

Karthik had the white pieces and found an early edge out of the opening with a strong grip on the d5 square...

And soon, not only was Black's d6 pawn visibly vulnerable but White's expansion on the kingside too looked promising.

The tactical point in the above position that finally sealed Black's fate was gxh5 Rxh5 and Nf5!! The French Grandmaster had to call it a day not long after from here on move 30.

Previously in the fifth round it was IM Raja Harshit who pulled off a shocker by beating Karthikeyan Murali | Photo: Amruta Mokal 

Raja had the black pieces and managed to grab one of Karthikeyan's queenside pawns on move 24. However, things still remained more or less balanced, until move 33 when a careless knight move by White allowed Black to push for the win.  Check out the whole game below:

S.L.Narayanan is as solid as ever and is on the lead with compatriot Arjun Erigaisi. He faces Bartel Mateusz, the second seed of the event, in the next round. We present his win against Iniyan P in the King's Indian defense from fifth round below | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Arjun Erigaisi, the first Grandmaster from Telangana, is looking quite invincible in the event. Check out his win with black pieces against Kjartansson Gudmundur of Iceland where he showed some excellent technique to convert a rook-pawn ending | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Results of round five

Bo.No. NamePts.ResultPts.Name No.
13
GMNarayanan.S.L GM1 - 0GMIniyan P GM
18
25
GMPuranik Abhimanyu GM½ - ½IMZanan Evgeny IM
19
348
IMRaja Rithvik R IM½ - ½GMAlonso Rosell Alvar GM
6
427
IMKjartansson Gudmundur IM0 - 1GMErigaisi Arjun GM
8
51
GMLagarde Maxime GM3½ - ½3GMAlsina Leal Daniel GM
24
625
GMKobo Ori GM3½ - ½3GMBartel Mateusz GM
2
74
GMKarthikeyan Murali GM30 - 13IMRaja Harshit IM
28
829
FMBryakin Mikhail FM3½ - ½3GMHarsha Bharathakoti GM
9
931
IMLow Zhen Yu Cyrus IM3½ - ½3GMArizmendi Martinez Julen Luis GM
12
1013
GMDel Rio De Angelis Salvador G. GM3½ - ½3IMDhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad IM
35

Results of round six

Bo.No. NamePts.ResultPts.Name No.
16
GMAlonso Rosell Alvar GM4½ - ½GMNarayanan.S.L GM
3
28
GMErigaisi Arjun GM½ - ½4GMPuranik Abhimanyu GM
5
319
IMZanan Evgeny IM4½ - ½4IMRaja Rithvik R IM
48
428
IMRaja Harshit IM4½ - ½4GMGagare Shardul GM
23
522
GMKarthik Venkataraman GM1 - 0GMLagarde Maxime GM
1
62
GMBartel Mateusz GM1 - 0GMMovsziszian Karen GM
21
724
GMAlsina Leal Daniel GM1 - 0GMHarsha Bharathakoti GM
9
810
IMSosa Tomas IM½ - ½GMKobo Ori GM
25
935
IMDhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad IM½ - ½GMNarciso Dublan Marc GM
11
1012
GMArizmendi Martinez Julen Luis GM0 - 1IMKjartansson Gudmundur IM
27

Standings after round six

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 Krtg+/-
18
GMErigaisi Arjun GMIND2544AICF5,00,5422,01013,3
23
GMNarayanan.S.L GMIND2626AICF5,00,5421,5107,5
327
IMKjartansson Gudmundur IMISL2448Iceland4,50,0420,01013,9
423
GMGagare Shardul GMIND2468AICF4,50,0419,0106,4
518
GMIniyan P GMIND2497AICF4,50,0418,51010,1
622
GMKarthik Venkataraman GMIND2470AICF4,50,0416,5107,3
724
GMAlsina Leal Daniel GM2527ESP2462CAT - CE Barberà4,50,0415,5107,0
86
GMAlonso Rosell Alvar GM2577ESP2548CAT - CE Gerunda4,50,0322,0106,4
95
GMPuranik Abhimanyu GMIND2580AICF4,50,0320,5101,4
1048
IMRaja Rithvik R IMAIND2381AICF4,50,0320,51020,8