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Astounding Arjun Erigaisi finishes third in Lindores Abbey Blitz, now World no.31 in Blitz

by Shahid Ahmed - 09/11/2021

Kirill Shevchenko (UKR) made a strong comeback after losing three games in-a-row including two against Fabiano Caruana (USA). The Ukrainian finished the event 14.0/18, a half point ahead of the competition to win Lindores Abbey Blitz in honor of Mikhail Tal's 85th birth anniversary. Both Caruana and Arjun Erigaisi scored 13.5/18. The former once again secured second position, just like in Grand Swiss 2021. The most spectacular performance was of Arjun's as he started the event with nine consecutive wins, including two wins over Aronian, Howell, Mamedov and Korobov. He beat Caruana once and drew the duel. Arjun gained a massive 107 Elo rating points to become World no.31 in Blitz. Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE

Kirill Shevchenko clinches the championship, Caruana finishes second

Goldmoney Asian Rapid is the tournament where the universe got themselves acquainted with the name Arjun Erigaisi. Lindores Abbey Blitz in honor of Mikhail Tal's 85th birth anniversary is the place where Arjun roared his name to the whole word which will ricochet for a very long time to come. Soon we will see Arjun battle at Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz 2021, starting from 17th November against the likes of Aronian, Shankland, Liem, Maghsoodloo, Vidit and Adhiban. He has definitely put them all on notice.

Runner-up GM Arjun Erigaisi 13.5/18 won US$ 6000 | Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE

Top 3 (L to R) - 3rd Arjun Erigaisi, 2nd Fabiano Caruana and 1st Kirill Shevchenko | Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE
Interview with Kirill Shevchenko, the winner of Lindores Abbey Blitz | Video: FIDE

Arjun Erigaisi performed at 2838 and gained a massive 107.2 Elo rating points to become World no.31 in Blitz
Arjun Erigaisi gains 107 Elo points in Lindores Abbey Blitz, reaches Elo 2723 in Blitz | Video: ChessBase India

Round 3-4: Arjun - Aronian: 2-0

Arjun Erigaisi ended Levon Aronian's unbeaten streak this past summer at Goldmoney Asian Rapid, part of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. So the young lad was definitely having the psychological edge.

Arjun - Aronian, Round 3

Position after 34.Rdg1

34...fxe2 35.Rxg5 Rf1+ is completely winning for Black. However, Black went 34...Qf6 35.Ng4 fxe2 36.Nxf6 and White has managed to completely turn things in his favor.

In the second game, Arjun converted his extra pawn advantage into a win quite nicely featuring a king walk in the queen ending.

Round 5-6: Howell - Arjun: 0-2

Arjun defeated the in-form David Howell (ENG) in the first game with ease after the latter blundered his queen in a volatile position.

In the second game, Arjun got a better position out of the opening, however, the position got almost gridlocked in a hurry. Then Arjun found a very nice practical break.

Arjun - Howell, Round 6

Position after 48.g4

48.g4 makes absolute sense here. Not just because it is a blitz game, but that's the final break White has left in the position which can create all sorts of trouble for Black which is exactly what happened in the game. White won the game in another six moves.

Round 11-12: Arjun - Caruana: 1-1

After nine consecutive victories, Haik Martirosyan (ARM) halted Arjun's winning streak by drawing their tenth round game. That did not stop Arjun's momentum as he beat the World no.3 and the former World Championship Challenger, Fabiano Caruana in Round 11.

Arjun - Caruana, Round 11

Position after 13...Bd7

Caruana made a rare mistake early in the middlegame 13...Bd7. It allowed White to use tactics to gain the upper hand 14.dxc5 Bxc5 15.Rxd7 Qxd7 16.Ng5 g6 17.Nxh7! f5 18.Nxf8. White not only gained a valuable pawn but also the bishop pair combined with the fact of exposed black king is a huge advantage. Arjun converted his advantage into a win comfortably, and he suffered his first loss of the event in the next game against Caruana.

Round 14-15: Arjun - Xiong: 1-1

Arjun bounced back well after suffering his second consecutive loss of the event, a 19-move loss against Jeffery Xiong (USA). He avoided a hat-trick of losses by beating Xiong in Round 15.

Arjun - Xiong, Round 15

Position after 14...Bf6

Arjun found the tactical resource 15.Nxc6 Nxc6 16.e5 Rc8 17.exf6 Qxf6 18.Bxc6 Rxc6 19.d5 and it's over for Black. Arjun moved to 11.5/14.

Arjun lost the duel against the eventual champion of the tournament, Kirill Shevchenko (UKR). Although Arjun had a couple of good chances in the first game, the fatigue had set in, and he missed them both. The final duel was against Anton Korobov (UKR). Arjun won both of his games against him to finish third 13.5/18.

Arjun - Korobov, Round 18

Final position after 26.Qxh7+

What a cute finish by Arjun Erigaisi !


The biggest appreciation one can get is when the maestro Vishy Anand himself congratulates you for your performance

Replay Arjun's games

17th Nihal Sarin 11.5/18 | Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE

Photo Gallery

Runner-up - Fabiano Caruana (USA) 13.5/18 got US$ 8000 cash prize | Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE

Best Woman 1st - IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul (MGL) 9.0/18 received US$ 3000 | Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE

Best Woman 2nd - IM Dinara Saduakassova (KAZ) 8.5/18 got US$ 2500 | Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE

Best Woman 3rd - GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) 8.5/18 received US$ 2000 | Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE

The six prize winners | Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE

Time Control

The time control for each round was: 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment in a best of two games duel.

Replay Round 1-18 games

Replay the live stream

Lindores Abbey Blitz | Hosts - GM Anna Muzychuk and GM Stuart Conquest | Video: FIDE

Round 18 results

Bo.No. NameFEDRtgPts.ResultPts.NameFEDRtg No.
GMShevchenko KirillUKR2574131 - 012½GMMartirosyan Haik M.ARM2656
GMCaruana FabianoUSA276513½ - ½11½GMAronian LevonARM2767
GMErigaisi ArjunIND261612½1 - 011GMKorobov AntonUKR2718
GMXiong JefferyUSA269911½½ - ½11½GMSevian SamuelUSA2668
GMVachier-Lagrave MaximeFRA2838111 - 011½GMNihal SarinIND2667
GMNavara DavidCZE275811½1 - 010½GMMamedov RaufAZE2678
GMFedoseev VladimirRUS2716111 - 010½GMOnyshchuk VolodymyrUKR2603
GMDubov DaniilRUS2747111 - 010GMParavyan DavidRUS2639
GMPichot AlanARG2600100 - 111GMSvidler PeterRUS2709
GMHovhannisyan RobertARM2669100 - 111GMSargissian GabrielARM2596
GMMatlakov MaximRUS2652100 - 111GMPetrosyan ManuelARM2553
GMAbdusattorov NodirbekUZB269010½1 - 010GMBartel MateuszPOL2560
GMDreev AlekseyRUS26330 - 110½GMSarana AlexeyRUS2689
GMDeac Bogdan-DanielROU260510½0 - 1GMAdly AhmedEGY2683
GMEsipenko AndreyRUS259210½1 - 0GMZvjaginsev VadimRUS2674
GMAnton Guijarro DavidESP261310½½ - ½GMHowell David W LENG2666
GMKravtsiv MartynUKR26601 - 010½GMNiemann Hans MokeUSA2592
GMGrandelius NilsSWE265110½ - ½10GMPredke AlexandrRUS2580
GMGelfand BorisISR265010½1 - 0GMJumabayev RinatKAZ2535
GMAdhiban B.IND2629½ - ½GMJobava BaadurGEO2731


Final Standings

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
GMShevchenko KirillUKR257414,0189,0130,0
GMCaruana FabianoUSA276513,5209,0100,0
GMErigaisi ArjunIND261613,5206,0130,0
GMMartirosyan Haik M.ARM265612,5194,0110,0
GMNavara DavidCZE275812,5184,0110,0
GMXiong JefferyUSA269912,0198,080,0
GMDubov DaniilRUS274712,0195,0110,0
GMAronian LevonARM276712,0194,0100,0
GMSvidler PeterRUS270912,0186,090,0
GMSevian SamuelUSA266812,0176,0110,0
GMSargissian GabrielARM259612,0172,0100,0
GMPetrosyan ManuelARM255312,0168,0110,0
GMVachier-Lagrave MaximeFRA283812,0166,0110,0
GMFedoseev VladimirRUS271612,0161,0110,0
GMGelfand BorisISR265011,5183,5100,0
GMAbdusattorov NodirbekUZB269011,5181,0110,0
GMNihal SarinIND266711,5177,0100,0
GMSarana AlexeyRUS268911,5168,0100,0
GMEsipenko AndreyRUS259211,5160,090,0
GMKorobov AntonUKR271811,0201,070,0


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