Erigaisi, Sadhwani Qualify For 2021 Bullet Chess Championship Presented By SIG

Erigaisi, Sadhwani Qualify For 2021 Bullet Chess Championship Presented By SIG

| 20 | Chess Event Coverage

The first two qualifier tournaments for the 2021 Bullet Chess Championship Presented By SIG were played on Wednesday. The winners were two teenagers from India: GM Raunak Sadhwani and GM Arjun Erigaisi.

The 2021 Bullet Chess Championship Presented By SIG began on Wednesday with two exciting qualifiers, both consisting of a 20-round Swiss followed by a four-player knockout. All games were played with the pure bullet time control of one minute for the whole game without increment.

Two more qualifiers for the Main Event (April 5-7) will be played on Thursday. You can watch the last two qualifiers on April 1, 2021, starting at 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 Central Europe) on

The live broadcast of the first two qualifiers.

Qualifier 1: Arjun Erigaisi

Wednesday's early qualifier tournament started at 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 Central Europe). After about an hour, all 20 rounds were over. Yes, this is fast chess!

Among the participants were bullet specialists such as GMs Eric Hansen, Federico Perez, Andrew Tang, Ray Robson, and Oleksandr Bortnyk but also top grandmasters such as GM Alexander Grischuk and GM Daniil Dubov.

Of these players, it was Robson who finished first. The American GM advanced to the knockout stage together with GMs Jose Martinez (Peru), Erigaisi (India), and Alan Pichot (Argentina).

Qualifier 1 | Swiss, Top 10

# Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score SB
1 4 GM @spicycaterpillar Ray Robson 3165 15.5 184.25
2 19 GM @Jospem Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara 3039 15 172
3 18 GM @GHANDEEVAM2003 Arjun Erigaisi 3122 15 169
4 16 GM @platy3 Alan Pichot 3016 14.5 166.25
5 21 GM @dropstoneDP David Paravyan 3013 14.5 156.75
6 1 GM @erichansen Eric Hansen 3205 14 151.25
7 3 GM @penguingm1 Andrew Tang 3306 14 138.75
8 7 IM @wonderfultime Le Tuan Minh 3123 13.5 152.25
9 40 NM @12teen Janak Awatramani 2961 13.5 134
10 25 GM @DrVelja Velimir Ivic 3011 13 146.5

(Full final standings here.)

The knockout matches have a simple formula: games are played while a 10-minute countdown clock runs. When time is over, the one in the lead (after the current game ends) wins. In case of a tie, each following game is sudden death with the higher seed getting white first.

The first matchup saw Robson running away to reach a devastating 6-0 score before eventually beating Pichot 7-1. Erigaisi then defeated Martinez 4-2 to get his place in the final.

In the final, it was Robson who took the lead in the first game, but then Erigaisi took over and won four decisive games in a row, taking the match 4-2. Thus, the 17-year-old grandmaster from Telangana became the first qualifier for the main event.

Erigaisi-Robson final | All games

Arjun Erigaisi bullet
Arjun Erigaisi joins the Main Event participants.

Qualifier 2: Raunak Sadhwani

Most players who had tried their luck in the first Swiss also entered the second edition. It was Pichot who impressed the most as the only player to finish among the top four again! He came in fourth place once more, this time behind IM Le Tuan Minh, Sadhwani, and GM Sergei Zhigalko.

Qualifier 2 | Swiss, Top 10

# Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score SB
1 4 IM @wonderfultime Tuan Minh Le 3123 15 173.5
2 37 GM @champ2005 Raunak Sadhwani 3033 14.5 165.25
3 9 GM @Zhigalko_Sergei Sergei Zhigalko 3073 14.5 163
3 15 GM @platy3 Alan Pichot 3016 14.5 163
5 28 NM @12teen Janak Awatramani 2961 14.5 151.75
6 1 GM @erichansen Eric Hansen 3205 14 157
7 35 GM @Shield12 Shamsiddin Vokhidov 2967 14 148.75
8 6 GM @Genghis_K Federico Perez Ponsa 3081 13.5 157.5
9 23 GM @mishanick Aleksey Sarana 2997 13.5 153.25
10 19 GM @DrVelja Velimir Ivic 3011 13.5 151.25

(Full final standings here.)

Pichot was again eliminated in the semis, this time losing 2.5-3.5 to Le. The 15-year-old Sadhwani then beat Zhigalko 4-1 and scored a narrow 3-2 win in the final vs. Le, winning the fifth game as Black. That made it two Indian teenagers in the main event!

Sadhwani-Erigaisi final | All games

Raunak Sadhwani bullet
Raunak Sadhwani also enters the Main Event.

The 2021 Bullet Chess Championship is presented by Susquehanna International Group, LLP (SIG). SIG is a global quantitative trading firm founded with a growth mindset and an analytical approach to decision-making. As one of the largest proprietary trading firms in the world, SIG benefits the financial markets by providing liquidity and ensuring competitive prices for buyers and sellers. SIG brings together the brightest minds, the best technology, and an expansive library of industry data to design and implement qualitative trading strategies that make it leaders in the financial markets. Beyond trading, SIG is active in global private equity, structured capital, and institutional brokerage.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

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