chessbase india logo

Satty Zhuldyz 2023: Arjun Erigaisi Roars in Rapid, now World no.24

by Shahid Ahmed - 23/04/2023

Arjun Erigaisi won his first game for the third consecutive day. He won against the 14th world champion, Vladimir Kramnik. Then he drew against Levon Aronian, before finishing the Rapid event with a victory over, Kateryna Lagno. Although a draw would have sufficed for a first place finish in the Rapid, Arjun still went for the full point. Arjun won the Rapid event 9.5/11. Aronian finished second 8/11, followed by Alexader Grischuk at 7/11. The tournament is not over, as the final standings will be decided based on a cumulative score of Rapid and Blitz events. 22 games of Blitz will be played in a Double Round-Robin format. Today is a rest day. Blitz Round 1 starts tomorrow Monday 24th April at 5 p.m. local time, 4:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Arjun and Aronian remain unbeaten in Rapid

Both Arjun Erigaisi and Levon Aronian (USA) remained undefeated in the Rapid event. The highly anticipated encounter between them ended in a draw. Although, Arjun had a substantial advantage, the tournament situation did not require him to push for a full point. They will face each other in the Blitz event at least two times in the next few days.

GM Arjun Erigaisi won the Rapid event with an unbeaten 9.5/11 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Arjun Erigaisi is now World no.24 in Rapid live ratings | Source:

Apart from Vishy Anand, Arjun Erigaisi is the only other Indian who has 2700+ rating in all three formats of the game.

Round 9: First-ever encounter against Kramnik

Arjun Erigaisi (2685) has never faced the 14th world champion, Vladimir Kramnik (2756) in a rated game. The tourament leader had all the momentum and form on his side. Starting his third consecutive day with a win would definitely set the tone before facing his healthy rival, Levon Aronian in the penultimate round.

Arjun - Kramnik

Position after 18.b3

18.b3 forced Black to give up the b5-pawn. There are various ways for Black to deal with the attack on the knight, followed by on b5-pawn. 18...Nd6 19.Nxb5 Bxb5 20.Bxb5+ Ke7 21.Rfc1 and eventually the extra b-pawn played a crucial role in White earning the victory.

Full game: Arjun Erigaisi vs Vladimir Kramnik | Video: ChessBase India

GM Arjun Erigaisi won his first rated encounter against the 14th world champion, Vladimir Kramnik | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Round 9 in progress | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Round 10: A new chapter

The healthy rivalry which started in June 2021, had another chapter written in the penultimate round. Arjun made his intentions very clear when he went 15...g5, followed by 17...g4.

Aronian - Arjun

Position after 17...g4

17...g4 18.hxg4 Bxg4 19.g3 Kh8 20.dxe5 dxe5 21.Nh2 Rg8 made White's king quite vulnerable. 22.Kh1 and now computer recommends a rook lift Rg6 23.Bg2 Be6 would have given Black a significant edge. Arjun decided to go safe 22...Ne6 23.Bg2 Nd4 24.Qb2 and draw. He moved to 8.5/10 and Aronian 8/10.

Aronian's super smart final move against Arjun Erigaisi | Video: ChessBase India

The result might be insatiable compared to what could have happened, the game delivered as per expectations to a certain extent | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy
Final moments: GM Kateryna Lagno vs GM Jakhongir Vakhidov (UZB) | Video: ChessBase India
Daniil Dubov surprises chess legend Boris Gelfand | Video: ChessBase India

An audience view of Round 10 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Round 11: Finishing on a high note

GM Arjun Erigaisi faced the former World Rapid and three-time World Blitz Women's champion, GM Kateryna Lagno in the final round of Rapid event.

Arjun - Kateryna

Position after 40.Qf3

Black was a critical juncture. Which endgame to choose - queen and knight, rook and knight or just knight endgame? The correct answer is - rook and knight endgame. However, Black went for a knight endgame. It did not go well for her. 40...Rxe2 41.Kxe2 Qxf3+ 42.Nxf3 Nxc5 43.Nd4 b4 44.Nc6 and White went on to win the game.

GM Arjun Erigaisi defeated GM Kateryna Lagno to win the Rapid event and gain a 1.5 points lead heading into the Blitz | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Arjun Erigaisi signs autographs for the young fans | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Levon Aronian also joined Arjun after their draw in the penultimate tenth round | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

For more Round 9-11 photos, please click here.

Nepo is a favorite in the World Championship | Video: ChessBase India
Arjun Erigaisi meets his young fans in Kazakhstan | Video: ChessBase India
No Arjun you don't count | Fun Banter after the end of the Satty Zhuldyz Rapid | Video: ChessBase India
Hotel Hilton Astana, Venue tour | Video: ChessBase India
Satty Zhuldyz 2023 Rapid Round 9-11 Live commentary by IM and WGM Jovanka Houska, FM James Canty | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 9-11 games

Round 9-11 results

Round 9 on 2023/04/22
152720GMAronian, Levon1 - 0GMLagno, Kateryna248512
262685GMErigaisi, Arjun1 - 0GMKramnik, Vladimir27564
372587GMMartirosyan, Haik M.½ - ½GMKeymer, Vincent26303
482578GMSindarov, Javokhir1 - 0GMGelfand, Boris26262
592618GMHou, Yifan½ - ½IMAssaubayeva, Bibisara23591
6102731GMGrischuk, Alexander1 - 0GMVakhidov, Jakhongir251311
Round 10 on 2023/04/22
1122485GMLagno, Kateryna1 - 0GMVakhidov, Jakhongir251311
212359IMAssaubayeva, Bibisara0 - 1GMGrischuk, Alexander273110
322626GMGelfand, Boris1 - 0GMHou, Yifan26189
432630GMKeymer, Vincent½ - ½GMSindarov, Javokhir25788
542756GMKramnik, Vladimir1 - 0GMMartirosyan, Haik M.25877
652720GMAronian, Levon½ - ½GMErigaisi, Arjun26856
Round 11 on 2023/04/22
162685GMErigaisi, Arjun1 - 0GMLagno, Kateryna248512
272587GMMartirosyan, Haik M.½ - ½GMAronian, Levon27205
382578GMSindarov, Javokhir1 - 0GMKramnik, Vladimir27564
492618GMHou, Yifan½ - ½GMKeymer, Vincent26303
5102731GMGrischuk, Alexander½ - ½GMGelfand, Boris26262
6112513GMVakhidov, Jakhongir½ - ½IMAssaubayeva, Bibisara23591


Standings after Rapid Round 11

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
16GMErigaisi, ArjunIND26859,5046,758
25GMAronian, LevonUSA27208040,005
310GMGrischuk, AlexanderRUS27317034,754
44GMKramnik, VladimirRUS27566029,754
57GMMartirosyan, Haik M.ARM25875,5028,253
62GMGelfand, BorisISR26265023,502
73GMKeymer, VincentGER26304,51,523,750
811GMVakhidov, JakhongirUZB25134,51,523,002
98GMSindarov, JavokhirUZB25784,51,521,253
1012GMLagno, KaterynaRUS24854,51,520,752
119GMHou, YifanCHN26183,50,518,001
121IMAssaubayeva, BibisaraKAZ23593,50,516,250


Blitz Round 1 pairings

Round 1 on 2023/04/24
112440IMAssaubayeva, BibisaraGMLagno, Kateryna250812
222601GMGelfand, BorisGMVakhidov, Jakhongir256811
332651GMKeymer, VincentGMGrischuk, Alexander272710
442712GMKramnik, VladimirGMHou, Yifan26019
552809GMAronian, LevonGMSindarov, Javokhir25918
662737GMErigaisi, ArjunGMMartirosyan, Haik M.27707



Official site

Tournament Regulations

Contact Us