Indian GM Arjun Erigaisi shocks Magnus Carlsen in Aimchess Rapid tournament

Indian grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi took the spotlight on Sunday when he defeated world champion Magnus Carlsen in the seventh round of the preliminary round of the online chess tournament Aimchess Rapid.

19-year-old Erigaisi, who fell to compatriot Vidit Santosh Gujrathi to lose the tournament, currently sits fifth after eight rounds.

The win over Norwegian superstar Carlsen in the seventh round early Sunday was the Indian’s first against the world champion.

Erigaisi won three games in a row, beating Nils Grandelius (Sweden), Daniel Naroditsky (USA) and Carlsen before settling for a draw against Jan-Krzyszstof Duda (Poland).

He has 15 points and is fifth behind Nodirbek Abdusattorov (17 points) of Uzbekistan, Shahkriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) and Carlsen (both 16) and Duda (15).

Erigaisi lost to Carlsen in the final of the Julius Baer Generation Cup online tournament last month. His 54-move win over the world champion allowed him to bounce back from a slow start to the tournament and put him back in the top 8.

Another Indian, D Gukesh, sits sixth on 12 points after a mixed bag on day two of the preliminary round.

After defeating fellow countryman P Harikrishna in round five, he lost to Abdusattorov and Naroditsky in rounds six and eight respectively. In between, he beat Grandelius in the seventh.

The other Indian players in the fight, Gujrathi, Aditya Mittal and Harikrishna are 10th, 11th and 15th respectively after eight rounds of the 15-round preliminary phase.

Gujrathi had an impressive win over world rapid champion Abdusattorov, but draws against Grandelius and Naroditsky and a loss to Carlsen pushed him back.

Carlsen has not been at his best, having suffered two losses (to Mamedyarov and Erigaisi) and escaped to a draw in round four against young Indian GM Mittal.

In the ninth round he meets Gukesh.

Part of the Meltwater Champions Tour, the Aimchess Rapid tournament features 16 players including five from India.

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