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Chennai Grand Masters 2023 R1: Harikrishna and Eljanov strike

by Shahid Ahmed - 15/12/2023

Chennai Grand Masters 2023 is off to a splendid start. Just when it seemed like the first round will end up being victorless, Pentala Harikrishna and Pavel Eljanov (UKR) proved those predictions wrong. Arjun Erigaisi made a significant mistake early in the game. It made him defend the better part of the battle. Eventually he missed his final opportunity to salvage a half point which cost him the game. Parham Maghsoodloo (IRI) made a huge blunder in a rook and two pawns endgame which was seemingly heading towards a draw. The other two games between Levon Aronian (USA) and D Gukesh, and Sanan Sjugirov (HUN) and Alexandr Predke (SRB). Round 2 starts tomorrow at 3 p.m. IST. All photos are by Shahid Ahmed unless specified otherwise.

Endgames decide the fate

The Endgame Expert - Pentala Harikrishna scored a fine victory over Arjun Erigaisi

Chennai Grand Masters 2023 Official logo

Harikrishna - Arjun: 1-0

GM Pentala Harikrishna (2696) played only three rated games against GM Arjun Erigaisi (2727) a few months ago in Kolkata at Tata Steel Chess India 2023. Arjun won a rapid and blitz game each, while the other blitz game ended in a draw. Of course, Harikrishna had not forgotten about it.

Position after 15...Bxc3

According to Harikrishna, 15...Bxc3 was a huge mistake, simply because Black suddenly has to find all the tough correct moves. White has a bishop pair and rooks controlling on the c-file, does not make things easier for him.

Position after 49.Ra7??

White blundered 49.Ra7?? It allowed Black to escape with a draw 49...Rh5 50.f5 now he needed to take the h6-pawn via Rh1+ 51.Kd2 Rxh6. Instead, he missed it and went to capture the f5-pawn. 50...Rxf5 abandoned all hope for Black to salvage a draw.

Harikrishna breaks down his win against Arjun Erigaisi and also talks about reaching Bremen, just three hours before the game | Video: ChessBase India
The battle of the Telugu boys - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
Final moments: Pentala Harikrishna vs Arjun Erigaisi | Video: ChessBase India

Pentala Harikrishna got the better of Arjun Erigaisi

Parham - Eljanov: 0-1

GM Parham Maghsoodloo (IRI, 2742) and GM Pavel Eljanov (UKR, 2691) played only two Classical rated games before this encounter. The first one ended in a draw and Parham won the second one. It was about time for Eljanov to deliver the equalizer.

Position after 51.Re3??

51.Re3?? was the decisive mistake by White. 51...Rg5+ dropped the h5-pawn and Black got decisive advantage, thanks to White's misplaced king at the center of the board.

Pavel Eljanov (UKR) on his win against Parham Maghsoodloo (IRI) | Video: ChessBase India
Parham Maghsoodloo (IRI) Stunned by Pavel Eljanov (UKR) | Video: ChessBase India

Pavel Eljanov (UKR) 'got the jump' on his opponent as he jokingly said at the 'Draw of Lots' when he was asked about his aim at this event

GM Levon Aronian (USA) - GM D Gukesh: 0.5-0.5

GM Sanan Sjugirov (HUN) - GM Alexandr Predke (SRB): 0.5-0.5

For more photos, please click here.

What did the arbiter say to Arjun Erigaisi during security check? | Video: ChessBase India

Amruta Mokal and IM Sagar Shah are the official commentators

Spectators in attendance at the venue following the games with live commentary | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Those who wish to spectate the tournament at the venue, please click here and check the procedure.

Top two seeds crumble! | IM Sagar Shah's Chennai Grand Masters 2023 Round 1 summary | Video: ChessBase India
Who do you think will win Chennai Grand Masters 2023 | Giveaway + Wildr Challenge | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 1 live stream

Replay Chennai Grand Masters 2023 Round 1 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah, Amruta Mokal with Guest Commentators - GM Anish Giri and IM Sopiko Guramishvili | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 1 games

Round 1 results

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMAronian, Levon½ - ½GMGukesh, D
GMMaghsoodloo, Parham0 - 1GMEljanov, Pavel
GMSjugirov, Sanan½ - ½GMPredke, Alexandr
GMHarikrishna, Pentala1 - 0GMErigaisi, Arjun


Standings after Round 1

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
GMEljanov, PavelUKR2691100,0011
GMHarikrishna, PentalaIND2696100,0010
GMAronian, LevonUSA27230,500,2500
GMSjugirov, SananHUN27030,500,2500
GMPredke, AlexandrSRB26890,500,2500
GMGukesh, DIND27200,500,2500
GMMaghsoodloo, ParhamIRI2742000,0000
GMErigaisi, ArjunIND2727000,0000


Round 2 pairings

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMGukesh, DGMErigaisi, Arjun
GMPredke, AlexandrGMHarikrishna, Pentala
GMEljanov, PavelGMSjugirov, Sanan
GMAronian, LevonGMMaghsoodloo, Parham




Nodwin Gaming

ChessBase India

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