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FTX Road to Miami R1-4: Arjun Erigaisi beats Levon Aronian again

by Shahid Ahmed - 11/07/2022

The Arjun Erigaisi-Levon Aronian saga began last year at Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Goldmoney Asian Rapid. It continues to add another chapter as Arjun got the better of the only two-time World Cup winner in history in the second round of FTX Road to Miami. This win will definitely be a huge boost for Arjun as the 44th Chess Olympiad is just over a fortnight away where India vs USA clash is likely on the cards. Since both of them are on Board no.3, we might see them face each other on the grandest stage with the highest stakes too. The teenager defeated another World Cup victor, Teimour Radjabov in Round 3. He ended the day with a loss against Hungary no.1 and World no.8, Richard Rapport. Round 5 starts tonight at 9:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Lennart Ootes

King walks to freedom

Only eleven players have managed to register at least one victory on the first day of FTX Road to Miami. The remaining five are yet to score a win. That does not necessarily mean that it's over as ten rounds of chess left to be played, a lot can change.

The Levon Aronian - Arjun Erigaisi saga continues | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Round 2: Aronian - Arjun Erigaisi: 0-3

Arjun Erigaisi was in trouble in the queenless middlegame due to the fact that his placed lacked enough space and an isolated double pawn at the center of the board. However, he overcame adverse position and waited patiently.

Position after 27.Bb1

The above position certainly looks unpleasant to play for Black. 27...Bg4 made things only worse. Aronian made a few inaccuracies which allowed Arjun to get back in the game and equalize.

Position after 47...Kd6

20 moves later, the black king started its journey 47...Kd6. While it may not be the best move as 48.Rg6 forces the king to go back to e7, practically it turned out to be a good move.

Position after 52...Ke3

Black made his intentions very clear about which way the king wants to go. 53.d6 did not help White's cause. After a few more mistakes, White crossed the point of no return and lost the game in another eight moves.

The heat signature of the black king
The final moments of Aronian vs Arjun Erigaisi | Video: ChessBase India

Round 3: Arjun Erigaisi - Radjabov: 3-0

Arjun Erigaisi takes every opportunity that is presented to him. 

Position after 23.Rxh7

First White took a pawn on the queenside, 21.Qxb7 Rb8 22.Qa6 Ng4 23.Rxh7 Nxe3 24.c5 ensuring the king safety. When Black decided not to defend the a7-pawn 24...Qf6 White took it 25.Qxa7 Qf7 was forced. White traded the queens, trapped one of the rooks and won the game in another seven moves.

Arjun Erigaisi's calmness vs Teimour Radjabov's tea! | Video: ChessBase India

Replay the live stream

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour FTX Road to Miami Round 1-4 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Highlights

A few interesting finishes of the day

Levon Aronian (USA) - Arjun Erigaisi: 0-1, Round 2

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE) - Richard Rapport (HUN): 3-0, Round 3

Hans Niemanna (USA) - Aryan Tari (NOR): 1-0, Round 4

Round 2 in progress between Levon Aronian and Arjun Erigaisi | Photo: ChessBase India live stream

Replay Round 1-4 games

Standings after Round 4

Jeffery Xiong has gained an early sole lead 9/12 | Photo: chess24

All games will start from 9:30 p.m. IST between 10th and 17th July 2022.

Links

Official site

Tournament regulations


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