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Sharjah Masters: Arjun Erigaisi makes a winning start, D Harika plays out draw

Arjun capitalised on a strategic mid-game error by Safarli to fetch the win. Aravindh Chithamabaram and P Iniyan also won.

Arjun Erigaisi

Arjun Erigaisi (FILE PHOTO: FIDE/X)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 15 May 2024 1:10 PM GMT

Arjun Erigaisi beat Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan in the first round of the Sharjah Masters, a $52000 prize money tournament, on Wednesday.

Arjun capitalised on a strategic mid-game error by Safarli to fetch the win.

The world no. 7 Indian grandmaster gained the upper hand when Safarli went for unwarranted complications giving Arjun a dangerous passed pawn in the middle game.

Arjun marched his pawn to the seventh rank collected a rook for a knight and cruised through.

Grandmasters Aravindh Chithamabaram and P Iniyan also started their campaign with wins as they defeated compatriot Bharath Subramaniyam and Irani Pouya of Iran respectively.

However, for the higher-seeded players, it was a tough day as the majority of them played out draws.

Among the other Indian players, S L Narayanan shared the points with Turkish Sanal Vahap while Yagiz Kaan Erdogmus held Nihal Sarin to a creditable draw.

GM D Harika, the lone Indian women in the fray, commenced her campaign holding Manuel Petrosyan of Armenia to draw.

Eight rounds still remain in the 88-player tournament.

Indian results round 1:

Erigaisi Arjun beat Eltaj Safarli (Aze); S P Sethuraman drew with Temour Radjabov (Aze); Amin Tabatabaei (Iri) beat V Pranav; S L Narayanan drew with Sanal Vahap Tur); Yagiz Kaan Erdogmus (Tur) drew with Nihal Sarin; Aravindh Chithambaram beat Bharath Subramaniyam; Raunak Sadhwani drew with David Gavrilescu (Rou); Sankalp Gupta drew with Ter-Sahakyan Samvel (Arm); Nguyen Thai Dai Van (Cze) beat Pranav Anand; Leon Luke Mendonca lost to Marcin Krzyzanowski (Pol); Abhimanyu Mishra (Usa) beat Raja Rithvik; Abhimanyu Puranik drew with B Adhiban; D Harika drew with Manuel Petrosyan (Arm); Nikolas Theodorou (Gre) beat Aditya Samant Samant; Aditya Mittal drew with Cardoso Jose Gabriel (Esp); P Iniyan beat Idani Pouya (Iri); Abhijeet Gupta drew with Bibisara Assaubayeva (Kaz).

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