The 18-year-old won the tournament — 9.5 points from 12 games —- with a round to spare after his draw against Vietnam’s Thai Dan Van Nguyen. Arjun has now qualified for the 2023 edition of Tata Steel Masters.
Arjun enjoyed a dream run at the tournament with 7 wins and 5 draws. His stupendous show meant that he also broke into the top-100 of World rankings during the course of the competition.
♟💙 | Arjun Erigaisi wins the #TataSteelChess Challengers Tournament! Congratulations! https://t.co/6wLV4ieJe7
— Tata Steel Chess (@tatasteelchess) 1643467234000
“This is by far one of my best performances in a classical tournament. I would like to celebrate this with a win in the final round on Sunday,” Arjun told TOI. Arjun, coached by GM Srinath Narayanan and mentored by Viswanathan Anand as part of the Westbridge Anand Chess Academy, was effusive in his praise of the duo.
“Working with the two have definitely upped my game. I have tremendously benefitted from the insights provided by both Anand and Srinath. In recent times, I have laid more emphasis on my openings and the results are beginning to show,” Arjun pointed out.
Congrats to Arjun on such a smooth and strong performance! He has been with us in WACa and we are so proud to see… https://t.co/lvnxVnyPsZ
— Viswanathan Anand (@vishy64theking) 1643468159000
Arjun felt his first-round draw against Lucas Van Foreest gave him a lot of confidence. “I didn’t have the best of positions in that game but was able to draw it. Things fell into place when I won my second-round game and from thereon, it was about making sure I maintained the momentum,” Arjun said.
Arjun’s style of play seems to have impressed World champion Magnus Carlsen who is featuring at the Tata Steel Masters. “He is going to be 2700 soon. He is by far the best player in the Challengers section. He plays chess in a way that I enjoy. You can just sense that he knows how to play. He has a good tactical eye and he can switch styles easily,” Magnus said.