Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi is new national chess champion

Kanpur: Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi of Telangana won the 58th edition of Senior National Chess Championship here on Thursday, edging out fellow GMs of Tamil Nadu D Gukesh and P Iniyan in a tie-breaker after the trio finished on 8.5 points each.

The 18-year-old Erigaisi remained unbeaten in 11 rounds and ended up with a score of 8.5 points for his maiden Senior National title. He drew his final round game against former champion S P Sethuraman.

Gukesh had to settle for a draw against Aryan Chopra while Iniyan moved up to 8.5 points with a fine win over fellow GM Mitrabha Guha of West Bengal.

Defending champion Aravindh Chithambaram of Tamil Nadu finished fourth with eight points, while top-seed and pre-tournament favourite B Adhinan ended a distant 20th.

Erigaisi and Gukesh began the day on eight points and both had a chance of laying their hands on the top prize. Iniyan defeated Guha to make it an interesting battle for the title.

However, Erigaisi and Gukesh were held to draws, meaning a three-way tie for the top place with the former emerging victorious on the basis of a better tie-break score.

Erigaisi has been in impressive form of late and recently won the Tata Steel Challengers title in Wijk Aan Zee, the Netherlands.

The champion received Rs 6 lakh prize money.

Important Results of Round 11: Arjun Erigaisi (Telangana) (8.5) drew with S P Sethuraman (8), P Iniyan (TN) (8.5) beat Mitrabha Guha (7.5); Aravindh Chithambaram (TN) (8) drew with Aryan Chopra (Delhi) (8); V Pranav (8) drew with N R Visakh (8); Deep Sengupta (7.5) drew with Aravindh Chithambaram (8); Karthikeyan Murali (8) beat Aditya Mittal (7); Koustav Chatterjee (8) beat M R Lalith Babu (6.5); B Adhiban (7) drew with Himal Gussain (7).

Final standings (top 10): 1. Arjun Erigaisi, 2. D Gukesh, 3. P Iniyan, 4. Aravindh Chithambaram, 5. Aryan Chopra, 6. Koustav Chatterjee, 7. Karthikeyan Murali, 8. N R Visakh, 9. S P Sethuraman, 10. V Pranav.

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