Indian teenager Arjun Erigaisi shocked world champion Magnus Carlsen

New York: Young Indian, 19-year-old Arjun Erigaisi, inflicted a crushing loss on World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in Round 7, leaving the Norwegian in a tight spot in the USD 150,000 Aimchess Rapid – Round Five of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour.

It was sweet revenge for Erigaisi, who had lost to Carlsen in the Julius Baer Generation Cup final, and earned his first win against the world No.1 on Saturday.

The shock defeat came in Round 7 with Erigaisi breaking through with the brilliant counterattack 27.Qf7+, bravely ignoring the obvious threat from Carlsen’s queen and rook on the b-line. The young Indian star went on to close out the win.

Contrary to the anti-climactic Julius Baer Generation Cup final where Erigaisi practically collapsed against the world champion, the Indian remained cool and calm on Saturday.

Erigaisi said afterwards, “It (the win) felt really good, I was really happy with the game.”

Carlsen, who was playing from a log cabin in Are, Sweden, bounced back to beat Erigaysi’s compatriot Indian Vidit Gujrati in Round 8 and finished the day tied for second on 16/24 with exciting Azerbaijani Shahrhiyar Mamedyarov.

“I thought my performance yesterday (Friday) was probably the worst I’ve played one day on Tour… Today (Saturday) wasn’t great either, but it was a little better,” Carlsen said. On Friday, Carlsen had a near-miss against Aditya Mittal, and on Saturday he found himself in big trouble again against Erigaisi.

Wonderkid Nodirbek Abdusatorov clung to a narrow lead as the Uzbek, after dominating Day 1 on Friday, bounced back from a first leg loss on Saturday to record two more wins and finish top of the leaderboard on 17/24 – one point ahead of the pack.

The first round of the day — Round 5 of the preliminary stage of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event — was “wild,” according to IM Lawrence Trent in the commentary box, as all eight games ended in wins.

Vincent Keimer got off to a great start with a win against Mamedyarov. Azerbaijan’s No. 1 redoubled, placing his queen deep into Keimer’s position before the young German activated his own queen and attacked himself.

Mamedyarov then went on to reel off three straight victories – including a 16-move rapid-fire victory over Richard Rapport. Mamedyarov finished the day level with Carlsen and is looking for a place in the quarterfinals.

Abdusatorov, the world rapids champion and overnight leader, lost his first game of the day to India’s Vidit Gujrati. With Carlsen’s victory, it allowed the champion to briefly tie up in the standings.

In Round 6, Abdusattorov took advantage of another young Indian star Gukesh D throwing away a winning position. As Carlsen was losing to Erigaysi, Abdusatorov sent Pentala Harikrishna to regain the sole lead. A tie in the final round of the day against Anish Giri secured the lead for the second consecutive day.

The award-winning Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, the world’s leading year-round chess circuit, reaches its penultimate tournament with Aimchess Rapid.

The event features 16 players in the preliminary phase of each round before the field is whittled down to eight and the knockouts begin. Aimchess Rapid is the last “Regular” tournament of the 2022 season with a prize pool of 150,000 UD before the final end-of-season event begins on November 14th.

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