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Erigaisi, Vaishali Win Blitz Titles
Blitz winners Erigaisi and Vaishali with Rapid winners Nihal and Ushenina. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Erigaisi, Vaishali Win Blitz Titles

VSaravanan
| 13 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Arjun Erigaisi captured the 2022 Tata Steel Chess India Open Blitz with a round to spare, while IM Vaishali Rameshbabu caught up with the overnight leader, GM Mariya Muzychuk, and outpaced her in the final rounds to win the 2022 Tata Steel Chess India Women's Blitz.

The battle for the title in the Open section between GM Hikaru Nakamura and Erigaisi was settled in their individual encounter in the penultimate round when Erigaisi won a tense game and emerged the winner with a round to spare. He tallied a total of 12.5 points in 18 rounds. Nakamura finished second with 11.5 points while GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov finished third with 9.5 points.

In the Women's section, Vaishali won the title after pursuing and catching up by the 15th round with Muzychuk who lost both her final two games. Vaishali finished with 13.5 points in 18 games, Muzychuk finished second with 12 points, while GM Harika Dronavalli finished third with 11 points.

How to review the Tata Steel Chess India Blitz and Tata Steel India Chess Women's Blitz

You can keep up with all the details of the tournament on our live events platform by following separate links for Open and Women's sections. 


Open

Blitz specialist Nakamura doggedly followed Erigaisi in the standings throughout the second day, most of the time by just half a point. The race for the top spot simply delighted the crowd in the auditorium which was filled to its capacity on the final day:

The auditorium full of spectators was delighted with the fight for the top spot on the final day. They applauded each player as they arrived and clapped loudly at the end of every round. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Starting the day with five points from nine games and pursuing Erigaisi in the lead with 6.5 points, Nakamura set the ball rolling with a brisk 4.5 points in his first five games. His win against GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov was a typical Nakamura specialty, though far from a perfect game:

After the 14th round, Nakamura reached 9.5 points. Erigaisi remained in the lead with 10 points as he also scored his own dose of good victories:

Erigaisi had his own share of luck when the formidable Mamedyarov hung a rook in a crucial 15th-round encounter:

But it was GM Parham Maghsoodloo who stole the thunder at this point, beating Nakamura and Erigaisi in consecutive games:

Maghsoodloo: interrupting the two-horse race. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Thus, when Erigaisi and Nakamura played each other in the 17th round, they were on 11 and 10.5 points respectively. The game, a cliffhanger, was full of drama and thrills:

Thus the title was settled in Erigaisi's favor, who won it with a round to spare.

Nakamura couldn't hide his sense of disbelief after losing the game. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Our game of the day was played by GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and is analyzed GM Dejan Bojkov below:

All Games Open Blitz - Day 2
Standings

 

Women's

Muzychuk declared in the press conference, "To play well at blitz, one needs practice, how well one's mind works in a short period of time... and sometimes it goes well, and sometimes it doesn't go well. One has to be ready... Yesterday was a perfect day. As for today, you can see (it didn't go well)." She attributed her losses during the second day of blitz mainly to tiredness. 

A relaxed Vaishali, Mariya Muzychuk, and Harika at the press conference. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Her tiredness seemed to show when she lost a quick encounter in the 12th round with GM Humpy Koneru, who played a near-perfect game:

An even more tragic moment happened against IM Oliwia Kiolbasa when she dropped a whole rook when short of time:

Kiolbasa: getting a free rook. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Even then, Muzychuk showed glimpses of her typical minimalistic style of play with a delightful win over another heavyweight, GM Anna Ushenina:

But she succumbed to two losses in the end, to GMs Harika Dronavalli and Nana Dzagnidze, effectively handing over the title to Vaishali. 

Vaishali's play included many fightbacks from difficult situations, and her pivotal game of the tournament was against Koneru. Though the game is far from perfect, it is a typical blitz game of counterpunching:

Just like the first day of the blitz, Vaishali played many stable games that were aesthetically pleasing to watch:

All the players of the Women's section, attired in traditional Indian saree designed with a chess theme: Koneru, Ushenina, Vaishali, Dzagnidze, Harika, Mariya Muzychuk, Savitha, Anna Muzychuk, Kiolbasa and Kulkarni. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

All Games Blitz Women's - Day 2

Standings

The 2022 Tata Steel Chess India Blitz and Women's Blitz are two of India's most prestigious blitz chess events. Players competed in a 10-player round-robin in blitz games with a 3+2 time control. The prize fund for each event was $17,500.


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