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Arjun Erigaisi clinches Masthanaiah Rapid Rating Open 2021

by Shahid Ahmed - 01/05/2021

The first quarter of 2021 witnessed very few rating tournaments in India because of the ongoing pandemic. While most of them got either cancelled or rescheduled, Masthanaiah Chess World took a big risk of holding a tournament with a total prize fund of ₹500000 which is the highest of the year so far and they did it successfully. A total of 288 players from all over the country took part in this event. Arjun Erigaisi won the event and received ₹100000 cash, Runner-up Harsha Bharathakoti received ₹50000 and Muthaiah Al earned ₹20000 cash prize. A short interview with the champion and he shares two of his games annotated by himself. Photo: Masthanaiah P

Harsha Bharathakoti finishes sole second

GM Arjun Erigaisi scored an unbeaten 8.5/9 to win Masthanaiah Rapid Rating Open. His only draw was against the top seed of the tournament GM Harsha Bharathakoti who remained undefeated en route 8.0/9 to secure second position. Six players finished at 7.5/9, out of them IM Muthaiah Al of Tamil Nadu was placed third according to tie-breaks. Apart from the champion and runner-up, IM Raja Rithvik R and IM Harikrishnan A Ra are the only two among top ten to remain undefeated.

Champion GM Arjun Erigaisi 8.5/9 and Runner-up GM Harsha Bharathakoti 8.0/9 | Photo: Masthanaiah P

Arjun Erigaisi gained 39.4 Elo rating points

We caught up with Arjun after he won the Masthanaiah Rapid Open to get to know his thoughts on his victory.


Shahid Ahmed (SA): How did it feel to win an over-the-board event after a year in your home state?

Arjun Erigaisi (AE): Firstly it felt wonderful to play an otb tournament and winning it was like cherry on the top.


SA: You played excellent in the Bangladesh Premier League last month and in this tournament also you became an unbeaten champion. How has it been to get back to the otb tournaments?

AE: I'm glad that I got to play two otb events and I performed pretty decently in both of them.

Arjun Erigaisi (left) in action at Bangladesh Premier League 2021 | Photo: Bangladesh Chess Federation

Arjun's performance at SAIF Powertec Bangladesh Premier League 2021

SA: Who was the strongest challenge you faced in the tournament?

AE: Harsha was clearly the strongest opponent I faced in the tournament.

Harsha Bharathakoti drew with Arjun Erigaisi in Round 7 | Photo: Masthanaiah Chessworld

SA: How are you dealing with the ongoing pandemic situation?

AE: Currently, I'm staying indoors practicing chess, managing studies and playing Among Us with my friends :P


SA: What's next for you?

AE: As of now it's uncertain but I hope to play some tournaments in June/July.


SA: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

AE: Thank you.


Arjun shared two games of his from the tournament because he really liked the way his opponent played and the complexities present in those two games.

Rakshith - Arjun, Round 2

Position after 28.c4

Try to think like Arjun and find out how black can continue after 28.c4.

Arjun's favorite game of the tournament was against IM Muthaiah Al from Round 6.

Arjun - Muthaiah, Round 6

Position after 21...h6

The beauty of chess lies in the fact that no matter how strong of a computer you might have, some things can only human comprehend, not the silicon. Just when it seemed like black has managed to thwart all attempts of an attack by white, Arjun found a way. What is it?

Photo Gallery

The calm and collected - GM Arjun Erigaisi | Photo: Masthanaiah Chessworld

Arjun's favorite game of the tournament was against Muthaiah | Photo: Masthanaiah Chessworld

Top seed GM Harsha Bharathakoti (left) in action against gentleman of the game IM Anup Deshmukh | Photo: Masthanaiah Chessworld

Local talent IM Sai Agni Jeevitesh J scored 7.5/9 and secured 9th place | Photo: Masthanaiah Chessworld

IM Pranesh M (right) scored 7.0/9 and finished at 9th place | Photo: Masthanaiah Chessworld

The highest finisher among women - WIM Harshita Guddanti 6.5/9 | Photo: Masthanaiah Chessworld

Local media interviewing organizer of the event - Masthanaiah P | Photo: Masthanaiah Chessworld

Venue - L B Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad | Photo: Masthanaiah Chessworld

For more photos, check out Masthanaiah Chessworld's fb page where a lot more photos from this event can be found.


A total of 288 players including 2 GMs, 6 IMs and a WIM participated from Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh, in this two-day nine-round Swiss league event. The tournament was organized by Masthanaiah Chess World on 17th and 18th April 2021.

Final Standings

Rk.SNoNameTypsexGrFEDRtgIClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
16GMErigaisi ArjunIND2254Tel8,553,058,054,000,08
21GMHarsha BharathakotiIND2488Tel8,054,559,551,500,07
32IMMuthaiah AlIND2295TN7,555,059,046,750,07
423IMRaja Rithvik RIND1819Tel7,553,057,046,000,06
58Bharat Kumar Reddy PoluriIND2102Tel7,552,055,043,250,07
618Vishwanath PrasadIND1936Tel7,547,050,039,750,07
83IMSai Agni Jeevitesh JIND22777,544,548,538,500,07
910IMPranesh MU15IND2031TN7,052,557,041,250,06
1011Rao J. MalleswaraIND2028AP7,050,055,041,000,06
1124CMKushagra MohanIND1766Tel7,048,551,036,000,07
1245Aditya Varun GampaU15IND1535Tel7,047,551,536,000,07
1315Balkishan A.IND1964Kar7,047,551,036,750,06
1421Suresh DuvvalaIND18467,047,051,038,500,06
1526Sreehith Reddy RU15IND1744Tel7,046,050,537,000,06
1631Md ImranU13IND1659AP7,045,550,036,500,07
1791Md Bashiq ImroseU15IND1244Tel7,044,047,032,000,06
1889Arunkumar MuthukumarIND12647,043,046,033,000,07
1917WIMHarshita GuddantiwIND19496,549,053,536,000,06
2069Kheerthi GantaF15wIND1373Tel6,549,053,035,000,05
217Varun VIND21536,547,551,533,500,06
2227Ramachandra BhatS60-IND1739Kar6,547,051,034,250,06
2332Shanmukha PulliIND1653Tel6,546,550,533,250,06
2450Nihal SwarnaU13IND1487AP6,546,550,032,000,06
2512FMPurushothaman ThirumalaiIND19866,544,548,533,500,06


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