Hyderabad: Telangana’s first Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi was over the moon after clinching his maiden title at the II Terras de Tras-os-Montes Chess Open in Portugal on Tuesday.
The Warangal lad said the victory is special as it was his maiden international title.
Speaking from Portugal, where he will be competing in Guimaraes Open, Arjun said, “I have won several trophies in the age categories in international tournaments. I have also finished second and third in the open category at a few tournaments. But this is my first international title in the open category and it feels great.”
Arjun, who is the 32nd youngest GM in the world and seventh in the country, secured 8.5 points from nine rounds and remained unbeaten in the tournament which saw over 140 players. He posted eight wins and a draw. On his performance, he said victory over another Indian from Chennai D Gukesh was a memorable one.
“The win against Gukesh was crucial to the overall result. So it was special.” Gukesh finished second in the tournament. Arjun’s victims include the likes of Balazs Sonka (Hungary), Eduardo Pulvett Marin Daniel (Spain) and fellow Indian Moksh Amit Doshi. He drew against Dutch IM Thomas Beerdsen.
The 17-year-old lad also achieved 2,600 Elo rating points in the European tour. He started the trip with 2,567 and crossed the 2,600 mark at the Biel Master Open in Switzerland after accumulating points in Serbia at Serbia Open and Paracin Open. He then added four more rating points at the Riga Open in Latvia.
With the latest victory, he amassed 19 more and currently has the live Elo rating points of 2625. “I have been eyeing the 2600 rating points for two years. It got delayed due to the pandemic. But I am happy that I could do it now.” When asked about his next target, he said, “I have short term goals. My next target is to achieve 2650 and then 2700 points. I also want to strengthen my game.”
For the record, the youngster, who completed intermediate and is waiting to pursue graduation in B Sc Date Science in Warangal, travelled over 11,000 kms in the last 55 days, played in 6 events and gained a total of 58 Elo rating points.
Meanwhile, Telangana State Chess Association president KS Prasad lauded Arjun for the achievement and said he has a great future. “Definitely he is a prime contender from India in the future for the World Championship. He is in the top league already. His performances in recent times are very promising,” he said.
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