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Arjun Erigaisi convincingly wins 28th Abu Dhabi Masters 2022, now World no.24

by Shahid Ahmed - 26/08/2022

Arjun Erigaisi won the must-win final round game against Spain no.4 David Anton Guijarro to clinch 28th Abu Dhabi Masters 2022. He played with the sole purpose of winning the game as he knew that a draw would not be enough to win the tournament. He kept maneuvering until his opponent broke and made a mistake. Javokhir Sindarov (UZB) and Jorden van Foreest (NED) claimed second and third place scoring 7/9 and 6.5/9 each respectively. Six out out of top ten places were claimed by Indians. The remaining five secured sixth to tenth position. They are - Nihal Sarin, Sethuraman S P, Aditya Samant, Karthikeyan Murali and Aryan Chopra. Aditya Samant is the sole IM among the top 20 finishers. He also earned his maiden GM-norm. Kushagra Mohan is the latest International Master of India. Photo: Rupali Mullick

Kushagra Mohan becomes the latest International Master

Indian players performed outstanding in the Masters section to claim six out of the top ten places. A total of five Indians scored five norms. Apart from Aditya Samant, IM P Shyam Nikhil is the only other IM to finish in top 25. Shyam scored 6/9 to finish at 21st place. He is final GM-norm away from becoming India's next Grandmaster. Open tournament report will be published separately.

Champion - GM Arjun Erigaisi 7.5/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick
Interview with 28th Abu Dhabi Masters 2022 winner - GM Arjun Erigaisi | Video: ChessBase India

Runner-up - GM Javokhir Sindarov (UZB) 7/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Second Runner-up - GM Jorden van Foreest (NED) 6.5/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Arjun Erigaisi - Anton: 1-0

GM Arjun Erigaisi (2689) opted for the exchange variation when he faced Caro-Kann Defence against Spain no.4, GM David Anton Guijarro (2668).

Position after 28.Nb4

Arjun's knights are certainly stronger than Black's bishop pair, due to the almost grid-locked pawn structure. White slowly manuevered his king to a3 and then started rearranging his pieces to find the best squares and plan.

Position after 43...Qh8

Black decided to give up the f5-pawn as it did not make a big difference. It was more important to control the h-file, thus 43...Qh8 preventing an immediate Rh1. The game continued 44.Nxf5+ Bxf5 45.Qxh5 Qh3 46.Qd3 Qg2 47.Re1 Qf2 48.Re3 Qg1 49.Ne1 preventing all possibilities of a queen invasion on the queenside.

Position after 63...Kf8

Eventually Black crumbled 63...Kf8 64.c6+- Rc4 65.Qb2 Rxa4+?? 66.Rxa4 Qxa4+ 67.Qa3+ Black resigned as the resultant pawn ending is completely winning for White. Thus, Arjun Erigaisi won the game and became the champion of 28th Abu Dhabi Masters 2022.

Final moments: GM Arjun Erigaisi - GM David Anton Guijarro (ESP) | Video: ChessBase India

Arjun Erigaisi was already India no.3 after Round 8, he improved his World Ranking to 24 | Source:

The one who inspired the nation and beyond, Vishy Anand congratulated GM Arjun Erigaisi

Aditya Samant - Predke: 1-0

IM Aditya Samant (2430) played with the sole intention of defeating GM Alexandr Predke (2692). He made a thematic sacrifice in the Sicilian 16.Nxb5. His opponent did not respond correctly to it.

Position after 16.Nxb5

To beat a stronger player, you have to take every chance you get or you can wait for them to make a mistake. Well, the former is a definitive choice. 16.Nxb5! axb5 17.Bxb5+ Nd7 18.c4 N5f6 19.Qf2 Rb8 20.Bd4 Rxb5 21.cxb5 Be7 22.b6+- White is completely winning. 22...Qb7 23.a4 e5 24.Be3 0-0 25.a5 Nb8 26.Bc5 Na6 27.Bxe7 Qxe7 28.Qe2 Ra8 29.b4! another excellent move. Black might have two knights for White's rook, however, White's pawn mass on the queenside became the key factor to decide the game in White's favor.

IM Aditya Samant earns his maiden GM-norm with a 2709 performance! | Video: ChessBase India

IM Aditya Samant scored his maiden GM-norm with a fantastic victory | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Shyam - Raunak: 1-0

IM P Shyam Nikhil (2465) is a very strong player. He seized his opportunity against GM Raunak Sadhwani (2622).

Position after 40...c5

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is inaction. If Black does not do not much, it is difficult for White to make a breakthrough. 40...c5 is exactly what White needed. 41.dxc5 Bxc5 42.Bc1 Qe8 43.h5 gxh5 44.Rxh5 Rg8 45.Qd3 a4 another incorrect pawn break. 46.b4 Be7 47.Nd4 Nc4 48.Nxe6! Black's position completely falls apart. White won the game in another ten moves. The second half of the tournament did not go well for Raunak as he suffered three losses in his last four games.

IM P Shyam Nikhil is undoubtedly a future Grandmaster of India | Photo: Rupali Mullick

CM Soham Kamotra scored 5/9 to earn his maiden IM-norms | Photo: Rupali Mullick

FM Jubin Jimmy scored 5/9 to secure his first IM-norm | Photo: Rupali Mullick

CM Kushagra Mohan earned his final IM-norm to become India's latest International Master | Photo: Rupali Mullick

WIM Rucha Pujari defeated FM Edgar Mamedov (KAZ) in the final round to score her final WGM-norm | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Prize distribution ceremony

4th GM Ray Robson (USA) 6.5/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

5th in Masters and Blitz both - GM Nodirbek Yakubboev (UZB) 6.5/9 and 8.5/11 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

6th - GM Nihal Sarin 6.5/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

7th GM Sethuraman S P 6.5/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

8th IM Aditya Samant 6.5/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

9th GM Karthikeyan Murali 6.5/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

10th GM Aryan Chopra 6.5/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Best Female 1st - WGM Nilufar Yakubbaeva (UZB) 5.5/9, scored her second IM-norm | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Best Female 2nd - IM Irene Sukandar (INA) 5/9, earned her second GM-norm | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Best Female 3rd - WGM Vantika Agrawal 5/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Best Below 2400 2nd - IM Viani Antonio Dcunha 5.5/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Best Below 2400 3rd - GM Laxman R R 5.5/9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

When you are a world-class player, you are bound to inspire kids all over the world | Photo: Rupali Mullick

The podium finishers of the entire 28th Abu Dhabi Chess Festivals with the organizers and officials | Photo: Rupali Mullick
Everybody wants to take a photograph with GM Arjun Erigaisi | Video: ChessBase India

For more Round 9 and Prize distribution ceremony photos, please click at the respective links.

Norm makers list (India)

• IM Aditya S Samant - maiden GM-norm

• CM Soham Kamotra - maiden IM-norm

• FM Jubin Jimmy - maiden IM-norm

• CM Kushagra Mohan - final IM-norm to become India's latest International Master

• WIM Rucha Pujari - third WGM-norm

Replay the live stream

Replay 28th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival Round 9 Live Commentary by GM Viorel Iordăchescu | Video: ADChess
28th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival Closing Ceremony | Video: ADChess

A total of 148 players including 43 GMs, 35 IMs, 7 WGMs and 3 WIMs took part from 31 countries across the world including India. The tournament was organized by Abu Dhabi Chess Club & Mind Games from 17th to 25th August 2022 at Abu Dhabi, UAE. The nine-round Swiss league tournament had a time control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment from move no.1.

Replay Round 9 games

Round 9 results

Rd.Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.
GMErigaisi Arjun26891 - 06GMAnton Guijarro David2668
GMNihal Sarin26516½ - ½6GMRobson Ray2682
GMAryan Chopra26276½ - ½6GMVan Foreest Jorden2680
GMYakubboev Nodirbek26206½ - ½6GMSethuraman S.P.2625
FMSamant Aditya S24301 - 0GMPredke Alexandr2692
GMMareco Sandro26570 - 1GMKarthikeyan Murali2613
GMGrover Sahaj25055½ - ½5GMWang Hao2735
GMAmin Bassem26875½ - ½5IMVignesh N R2467
GMSalem A.R. Saleh267951 - 05GMChanda Sandipan2458
IMAjay Krishna S236750 - 15GMNisipeanu Liviu-Dieter2644
IMShyaamnikhil P246551 - 05GMSadhwani Raunak2622
GMPetrosyan Manuel261051 - 05IMRathanvel V S2455
GMAdhiban B.259851 - 05FMMadaminov Mukhiddin2408
GMHarsha Bharathakoti25575½ - ½5FMNazari Arad2389
CMSoham Kamotra225150 - 15GMVokhidov Shamsiddin2552
GMArjun Kalyan251351 - 05FMDe Silva L M S T2212
IMSukandar Irine Kharisma2373½ - ½GMMendonca Leon Luke2571
IMDavtyan Artur25200 - 1GMLaxman R.R.2381
IMAditya Mittal24961 - 0FMRohith Krishna S2358
IMViani Antonio Dcunha23271 - 0CMPrraneeth Vuppala2464


Final standings

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
GMErigaisi ArjunIND26897,504641,5
GMSindarov JavokhirUZB26297046,541
GMVan Foreest JordenNED26806,5049,544,5
GMRobson RayUSA26826,5048,544
GMYakubboev NodirbekUZB26206,5048,543,5
GMNihal SarinIND26516,5045,541,5
GMSethuraman S.P.IND26256,5045,541
FMSamant Aditya SIND24306,5044,540,5
GMKarthikeyan MuraliIND26136,5044,539,5
GMAryan ChopraIND26276,5042,538
GMTer-Sahakyan SamvelARM26256,504237,5
GMAnton Guijarro DavidESP2668604843
GMTomashevsky EvgenyRUS2702604742
GMIndjic AleksandarSRB26136045,541
GMArjun KalyanIND2513604540,5
GMSalem A.R. SalehUAE26796044,540
GMNisipeanu Liviu-DieterGER26446044,539,5
GMTabatabaei M. AminIRI26646043,539
GMAdhiban B.IND2598604237,5
GMVokhidov ShamsiddinUZB25526041,538



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