Continuing his irrepressible form, Arjun Erigaisi set up the title clash with World champion Magnus Carlsen in the $150,000 Julius Baer Generation Cup online rapid chess tournament on Friday.
In the semifinals, Arjun blanked former World blitz champion Vietnam’s Le Quang Liem 2-0 in the tie-break blitz games after the rapid segment ended 2-2. The Indian youngster took the lead by winning the second game and missed a win in the third before Liem prevailed in the must-win fourth game to force the blitz tie-breaker.
“I could have finished it off in the third game, but I kind of hesitated. I didn’t find the killer bishop-move on the 35th turn. After that, in the fourth game, I was very nervous and I played badly. After losing the fourth game, I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I’m glad I managed to win it,” said Arjun.
In the other semifinals, Carlsen ended the dream run of German youngster Vincent Keymer 3-1 after winning the last two rapid games.
This is Arjun’s maiden entry into the final of the Meltwaters Champions Tour. Carlsen eyes his fourth title in as many final-appearances in seven legs of the million-dollar Tour.
To be played over two days, the final includes two sets of four-rapid games. In case of a tie, the match will go into a two-game blitz tie-breaker. Should the tie persist, an Armageddon game will be played. The player with white pieces will have five minutes to black’s four. A draw counts as a win for black.
Nihal stuns Kramnik
Meanwhile, in the Chess.com Global championship, Nihal Sarin upstaged former World champion Vladimir Kramnik 2.5-1.5 to face Chinese No. 1 Ding Liren in the Chess.com Global championship on Saturday. After two draws, Nihal punished Kramnik for a late error in a game that appeared to be headed for a draw. In the fourth rapid game, Nihal drew comfortably to knock out his illustrious rival. In another second round match, Ranuak Sadhwani lost 0-3 to Anish Giri.