Unstoppable Arjun takes sole lead in blitz event

Arjun Erigaisi is taking the Tata Steel Chess by storm.

A day after his stunning triumph in the rapid section of the tournament, he has launched a strong bid for the blitz title, too. He will go into the final day at the National Library as the sole leader.

The 18-year-old, who has been called the new star of Indian chess by Viswanathan Anand, was on 6.5 points at the end of the ninth round on Saturday. With as many rounds remaining, there is, of course, still a long way to go.

Following Arjun half-a-point behind is second seed Levon Aronian of Armenia. On 5.5 points are top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam and Iran’s Parham Maghsoodloo.

The results (Indians unless specified): Ninth round: Sam Shankland (USA) bt Raunak Sadhwani; Parham Maghsoodloo (Ira) lost to Nihal Sarin; Arjun Erigaisi drew with Le Quang Liem (Vie); Levon Aronian (Arm) bt Dronavalli Harika; D. Gukesh bt Vidit Gujrathi.

Eighth round: Sadhwani bt Gukesh; Gujrathi lost to Aronian; Harika lost to Arjun; Liem bt Maghsoodloo; Nihal bt Shankland; Seventh round: Nihal lost to Sadhwani; Shankland bt Liem; Maghsoodloo bt Harika; Arjun bt Gujrathi; Aronian drew with Gukesh; Sixth round: Sadhwani lost to Aronian; Gukesh lost to Arjun; Gujrathi lost to Maghsoodloo; Harika drew with Shankland; Liem drew with Nihal; Fifth round: Liem bt Sadhwani; Nihal bt Harika; Shankland bt Gujrathi; Maghsoodloo bt Gukesh; Arjun drew with Aronian.

Fourth round: Sadhwani drew with Arjun; Aronian lost to Maghsoodloo; Gukesh drew with Shankland; Gujrathi bt Nihal; Harika lost to Liem.

The standings: 1. Arjun 6.5; 2. Aronian 6; 3-4. Liem and Magshsoodloo 5.5; 5-6. Gukesh and Nihal 4.5; 7. Shankland 4; 8. Sadhwani 3.5; 9. Gujrathi 3; 10. Harika 2.

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