Three Indian players -- D Gukesh, Arjun Erigaisi and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi -- have advanced to the quarterfinals of the Aimchess Rapid online tournament.
Gukesh will take on Richard Rapport in the knockout round, while Erigiasi will battle it out against world no.1 Magnus Carlsen. Gujrathi will take on Jan-Krzystof Duda of Poland.
Gukesh and Erigaisi, who stunned world champion Magnus Carlsen in the preliminary phase, finished second and fourth respectively. Gujrathi finished eighth to seal the final knockout berth.
Gukesh (27 points) ended up one behind Duda, while Erigaisi also logged 27 points.
The trio notched up wins in the 15th and final round of the preliminary phase. Gukesh beat Richard Rapport, while Erigaisi defeated Anish Giri of the Netherlands. Gukesh opened the final day of the preliminary stage with a loss to Vincent Keymer of Germany before beating fellow Indian Aditya Mittal and Rapport.
Gujrathi, who was outside the qualification bracket after 12 rounds, scored against compatriot Mittal and David Anton Guijjaro of Spain in 13th and 15th rounds respectively while sharing honours with Rapport in the 14th. His strong performances in the last three rounds helped him advance to the quarterfinals.
Giri’s loss against Erigaisi helped Gujrathi, who scored victories in three of his last four games.
Carlsen, whose form has been up and down in the preliminary phase, took the fifth place with 26 points. He tripped Duda in the final round after settling for draws in rounds 13 and 14 against Daniel Naroditsky and Giri.
P Harikrishna scored 14 points and took the 13th spot, while young GM Mittal settled for 15th place with 12 points.
The Aimchess Rapid tournament is part of the Meltwater Champions tour and features 16 players, including five Indians.