"Happy with the way I clinched my second title of year":GM Arjun Erigasi wins Stepan Avagyan Memorial title

"Happy with the way I clinched my second title of year":GM Arjun Erigasi wins Stepan Avagyan Memorial title

Jermuk, Armenia: GM Arjun Erigasi, India's highest-rated chess player, came up with yet another domineering performance to clinch the Stepan Avagyan Memorial 2024 crown in Jermuk, Armenia with a round to spare. Arjun has jumped to 4th spot in live rating.

The 20-year-old defeated Russian GM Volodar Murzin in 63 moves in the eighth and penultimate round to take his six points with four wins and as many draws and now has an unassailable lead of 1.5 points over three players tied for second spot in a strong 10-player field.

The victory also helped Arjun jump to a career-high live rating of No. 4 as he has so far added 9 points from the eight rounds to reach a total of 2779.9 ELO points. He now trails Norway's Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana of the USA in live ratings.

"This has been a fantastic tournament for me as I have been able to make the most of my opportunities. These tournaments are never easy as the level of competition is very high but I am happy with the way I played and clinched my second title of the year," said Arjun.

Arjun, who has been challenging himself to play more open tournaments for playing a variety of opposition, has been in fine form this year. He bagged the Menorca Open crown in April, finished second in the TePe Sigeman Chess Tournament in May and also finished joint-fifth in the Sharjah Masters Open tournament.

Against Murzin, Arjun pounced on his Russian opponent's error in the rook and minor piece endgame and his title was guaranteed once USA's GM Samuel Sevian had to settle for a draw against local GM Manuel Petrosyan.

In the final round of the tournament, Arjun will face Petrosyan and will be looking to score a win and close the gap over the third-placed Caruana (2795.6 ELO points) in the live ratings.