Continuing his irrepressible form, Arjun Erigaisi (two points) outplayed higher-rated Saleh Salem (UAE) to open a one-point lead after two rounds of the Tepe Sigeman round-robin tournament in Malmo, Sweden, on Wednesday.
On a day when the other three boards ended as draws, Arjun won the battle involving two first-round winners in 58 moves to lead the eight-man field.
Once Salem, playing black, faltered with a queenside pawn-push on the 19th move, Arjun forced his rival on the defensive and enjoyed massive space advantage. By the 28th move, all of Salem’s pieces - queen, rooks, knights and a bishop - joined the king on the back-rank.
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After Arjun gained a pawn, Salem traded his rook for a bishop but he could not loosen the teenager’s grip. Before long, the Indian tightened the noose and Salem resigned on the 58th move.
- Arjun Erigaisi (2) bt Saleh Salem (UAE, 1); Alexei Shirov (Esp, 0.5) drew with Jorden van Foreest (Ned, 1); Michael Adams (Eng, 1) drew with Nils Grandelius (Swe, 1); David Navara (Cze, 0.5) drew with Hans Moke Niemann (USA, 1).
Gukesh in joint lead
D. Gukesh (5 points) escaped with a draw against Spain’s Ruiz Santos in 29 moves to stay in the lead where Jaime Latasa Santos and Jimenez Jose Fernando Cuenca joined him after beating K. Sasikiran and Soham Das in the sixth round of the Chessables Sunway International chess tournament at Punta Prima, Spain, on Thursday.
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Leader after five rounds, Gukesh ran into trouble against Ruiz but found a way to escape following a three-fold repetition of moves.
Playing black, Ruiz capitalised on Sasikiran’s dubious move on the 25th turn and kept up the pressure. Up a pawn, Ruiz promptly offered the exchange of queens on the 32nd move. At this stage, Sasikiran resigned.
In yet another battle involving an Indian and a Spaniard, Soham kept pace with Cuenca before losing his way on the 29th move. Cuenca read the position well and launched a fierce kingside attack. Soham resigned on the 40th move.