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World Blitz 2021 Day 1: Arjun Erigaisi draws with Magnus Carlsen, Vaishali and Humpy eye the title

by Shahid Ahmed - 30/12/2021

Arjun Erigaisi and Vaishali R are the Indian players who had a fantastic first day in World Blitz 2021 Open and Women's section respectively. While Arjun scored a uber impressive 8.5/12, Vaishali was no less 7.5/9. She is just a half point behind the leader IM Bibisara Assaubayeva (KAZ). Humpy is also in the title fray 7.0/9. She will face the newly crowned World Women's Rapid 2021 winner, Kosteniuk in the next round. Magnus has already lost three games. The last time he lost three or more games at World Blitz was back in 2015 which Grischuk won. Abhimanyu Puranik is so far the only person who has beaten the sole leader, Levon Aronian 10.0/12. Who do you think will win World Blitz 2021 in Open and Women's section? Final day of World Blitz 2021 starts today at 6:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Anna Shtourman/FIDE

Arjun Erigaisi is now World no.10 in Blitz

Arjun Erigaisi finally got an opportunity to play against Magnus Carlsen in over-the-board. He did not squander his opportunity. In fact, he was very impressive in his draw against the world champion. Magnus' World Blitz title is in serious jeopardy as he is 1.5 points behind the sole leader Aronian and has only nine rounds to catch up.

The first of many future handshakes between Magnus Carlsen and Arjun Erigaisi | Photo: Anna Shtourman/FIDE

Arjun Erigaisi 8.5/12

India no.1 in Blitz, GM Arjun Erigaisi was clearly the best Indian performer of the day as he scored 8.5/12, suffering only one loss against GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (ARM), most importantly drew with the reigning World Classical and Blitz champion, Magnus Carlsen (NOR) in the final round of the day. Arjun was never in any real danger, and he managed to hold his own against the world champion, in their first ever over-the-board encounter.

Magnus Carlsen vs Arjun Erigaisi | World no.1 vs India no.1 | Video: ChessBase India

Arjun Erigaisi has so far lived up to the expectations | Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE
Arjun Erigaisi on his first over the board game against Magnus Carlsen | Video: ChessBase India

Nihal Sarin 7.5/12

Nihal Sarin might have scored a good 7.5/12, however he is yet to show a spark he is known for, or face a stiff challenge in the Blitz event so far. Day 2 might change that. His best win so far was against Sanan Sjugirov in Round 11.

Saving the best for the last day? | Photo: Anna Shtourman/FIDE

Vidit Gujrathi 7.5/12

Vidit's highlight of the day would definitely be to beat France no.2 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Vidit - Vachier-Lagrave, Round 4

Position after 24...Nc7

24...Nc7 is the minute yet decisive mistake made by Black. Can you find out why? 24...Ne7 would have kept Black in the game slightly longer.

Vidit Gujrathi beats Maxime Vachier-Lagrave | Video: ChessBase India

Vidit made a good recovery after suffering two consecutive losses 7.5/12 | Photo: Anna Shtourman/FIDE

Pentala Harikrishna 7.0/12

Harikrishna made a steady start 7.0/12 including a draw with Hikaru Nakamura in Round 6.

Harikrishna is at a good position for a strong finish 7.0/12 | Photo: Anna Shtourman/FIDE

Harsha Bharathakoti 6.5/12

Last edition's top Indian performer at World Blitz 2019, GM Harsha Bharathakoti had an impressive day at the office. Among the top players, he defeated Richard Rapport (HUN) and Kirill Shevchenko (UKR), drew with the newly crowned World Rapid 2021 champion, Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB).

Don't KID against Harsha Bharathakoti | World Blitz 2021 | Video: ChessBase India

The win against Kirill Shevchenko in Round 10 is a must-see for French Defense players. One must take every opportunity they get.

Shevchenko - Harsha, Round 10

Position after 16...Nc3

Black showed that there is nothing to worry about 17.Nd6+ as Bxd6 18.exd6 Qa5 19.Qb3 Nxb1 gains an exchange and White does not have enough compensation for it. 19.Bd2 Nxd1 20.Bxa5 was still a better choice for White.

Harsha can surely score some more upsets | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Gukesh 6.5/12

After a fantastic ninth place finish in Rapid, Gukesh made a slow start in Blitz, scoring only 2.0/7. Although among those two wins, one of them was against Spain no.3 David Anton Guijjaro. In the last five rounds of the day, he scored 4.5 points including wins over Aryan Tari (NOR) and Mikhail Demidov (RUS), also a draw with Baadur Jobava (GEO).

Gukesh performed brilliantly in Rapid, can he do the same in Blitz? | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Abhimanyu Puranik 6.5/12

Abhimanyu made a brilliant start 4.5/5. He is the only person to beat the tournament sole leader, Levon Aronian (USA) in Round 5. He also defeated Anish Giri (NED), drew with Hikaru Nakamura (USA) and Baadur Jobava (GEO).

Abhimanyu - Aronian, Round 5

Position after 21...f5

If 19...f6 created a chink in Black's armor, then 21..f5 just removed it completely. White started grabbing a bunch of pawns starting with 22.Bxc6 Qxc6 23.cxb6 axb6 24.Rxe5 and eventually he ended up having two extra pawns which was enough to beat Aronian.

'The Pawn Muncher' Abhimanyu Puranik vs Levon Aronian | Video: ChessBase India
Nakamura cannot believe how much he missed against Abhimanyu | Video: ChessBase India

GM Raunak Sadhwani scored 6.0/12 including wins over Wojtaszek, Fridman, Paravyan and a draw with Korobov | Photo: Anna Shtourman/FIDE

GM Mitrabha Guha scored 6.0/12, including wins over Chigaev and Najer, drwe with Durarbayli and Cheparinov | Photo: Anna Shtourman/FIDE
Narayanan S L vs Fabiano Caruana - Round 3 | Video: ChessBase India

Vaishali R 7.5/9

IM Vaishali R had a fantastic day as she scored 7.5/9 and now just a half point behind the leader Bibisara 8.0/9. Her wins include against former Women's World Champion, GM Mariya Muzychuk, GM Valentina Gunina & IM Polina Shuvalova. She checkmated Gunina in just 20 moves.

Vaishali beats former Women's World Champion Mariya Muzychuk | Video: ChessBase India
Vaishali's stalemate trick against WIM Meruert Kamalidenova (KAZ) in Round 3 | Video: ChessBase India

IM Vaishali R had a fantastic day 7.5/9 | Photo: Anna Shtourman/FIDE

Koneru Humpy 7.0/9

Humpy scored 7.0/9, suffering only one loss and drew two games. Her best win of the day has to be against Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS) in Round 9.

Humpy is very much in the title contention | Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE

India's strong youth talent - Nihal Sarin, Arjun Erigaisi, D Gukesh, Sankalp Gupta and Mitrabha Guha | Photo: Anna Shtourman

Two of India's best International Arbiters - R Anantharam and Gopakumar Sudhakaran | Photo: Sagar Shah

Magnus Carlsen lost his first game in the Blitz event against Bartosz Socko in Round 5 | Photo: Sagar Shah

Video Gallery

Abdusattorov's first game after winning FIDE World Rapid 2021 | Video: ChessBase India
Magnus plays the delayed Alapin against the Sicilian | Carlsen vs Sychev | Video: ChessBase India
Nakamura survives by the skin of his teeth against Maximilian | Video: ChessBase India
How to checkmate Magnus Carlsen's king | Video: ChessBase India
Vladimir Fedoseev's first win against Magnus Carlsen | Video: ChessBase India
Instead of winning the game, you blunder your queen! Predke vs Carlsen | Video: ChessBase India
Offbeat openings don't usually work against Vidit | Video: ChessBase India
Firouzja vs Abdusattorov | Video: ChessBase India
Vidit shows Caruana where he missed a win against Gelfand | Video: ChessBase India
"You cannot make a move with two hands!" | Mastrovasilis vs Firouzja | Video: ChessBase India
When you think it's mate in one, but in reality it's an illegal move! | Video: ChessBase India
It's never easy to draw a drawn position against a top GM | Video: ChessBase India
How did Anish Giri react when his opponent offered a draw in Russian | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Blitz Open Round 1-12 games

Replay Blitz Women Round 1-9 games

Round 12 results Blitz Open

Rd.Bo.No. NameFEDRtgPts.ResultPts.NameFEDRtg No.
GMCarlsen MagnusNOR28928½ - ½8GMErigaisi ArjunIND2765
GMNihal SarinIND27057½ - ½7GMVidit Santosh GujrathiIND2628
GMHarsha BharathakotiIND25760 - 1GMAlekseenko KirillCFR2663
GMOnyshchuk VolodymyrUKR265761 - 06GMSadhwani RaunakIND2562
GMHarikrishna PentalaIND261461 - 06GMCzarnota PawelPOL2540
GMPuranik AbhimanyuIND24376½ - ½GMJobava BaadurGEO2689
GMGukesh DIND25061 - 0GMDemidov MikhailCFR2592
IMMitrabha GuhaIND237051 - 05GMAlonso Rosell AlvarESP2580
GMNarayanan.S.LIND25705½ - ½5GMTheodorou NikolasGRE2351
IMSankalp GuptaIND23231 - 04GMHeimann AndreasGER2690
CMSallam Sabri Abdul-MawlaYEM21940 - 1IMAditya MittalIND2245


Round 13 pairings Blitz Open

Rd.Bo.No. NameFEDRtgPts.ResultPts.NameFEDRtg No.
GMErigaisi ArjunIND2765GMSindarov JavokhirUZB2452
GMCheparinov IvanBUL2594GMNihal SarinIND2705
IMFaizrakhmanov RamilCFR2396GMVidit Santosh GujrathiIND2628
GMAsadli VugarAZE238677GMHarikrishna PentalaIND2614
GMHarsha BharathakotiIND2576GMWojtaszek RadoslawPOL2730
GMSjugirov SananCFR2589GMGukesh DIND2506
GMTang AndrewUSA2588GMPuranik AbhimanyuIND2437
GMSadhwani RaunakIND25626GMKadric DenisBIH2469
IMMitrabha GuhaIND23706GMAnton Guijarro DavidESP2668
IMCostachi MihneaROU2482GMNarayanan.S.LIND2570
GMShoker SamyEGY2529IMSankalp GuptaIND2323
IMAditya MittalIND22453FMLaith KasibIRQ2010


Round 9 results Blitz Women

IMShuvalova PolinaCFR23060 - 1IMVaishali RIND2313
GMKoneru HumpyIND248361 - 0GMGoryachkina AleksandraCFR2441
WGMVantika AgrawalIND191750 - 1WGMInjac TeodoraSRB2320
IMOvod EvgenijaCFR20920 - 1IMPadmini RoutIND2276


Round 10 pairings Blitz Women

Rd.Bo.No. NameFEDRtgPts.ResultPts.NameFEDRtg No.
IMVaishali RIND23138IMAssaubayeva BibisaraKAZ2285
GMKosteniuk AlexandraCFR247577GMKoneru HumpyIND2483
WGMVantika AgrawalIND191755IMMammadova GulnarAZE2330
IMPadmini RoutIND2276FMKurmangaliyeva LiyaKAZ1917


Replay the Live Stream

FIDE World Blitz Round 1-12 Open and 1-9 Women - Live Commentary by IM Lawrence Trent and WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili | Video: FIDE


Official site

Tournament Regulations: Open and Women

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