The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Arjun Erigaisi

Arjun Erigaisi
Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Full name
Arjun Erigaisi
Sep 3, 2003 (age 20)‎
Place of birth



Arjun Erigaisi is an Indian grandmaster, one of a quartet of star Indian players born between 2003 and 2006—the others being GMs Gukesh D, Praggnanandhaa R, and Nihal Sarin—who all made major leaps into the world elite in the 2022-23 time period.

The name Erigaisi is a patronymic, and the player should be referred to by his name, Arjun.

Early Career

Arjun was runner-up in the under-14 division at the 2017 World Youth Chess Championship while still a FIDE Master. He quickly earned his international master title in 2017 and then his GM title in 2018 when he was still just 14 years old. He earned all three GM norms in a four-month period between May and August.

Arjun remained in the 2500 rating range (in classical) for the next few years before seeing his next jump in 2021. In September, he achieved a 2600 rating for the first time. 

Arjun Erigaisi
Arjun at the 2021 Grand Swiss, where he scored 50%. While 2021 was an overall great year for him, 2022 would be even better, especially in classical. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Arjun also saw incredible success in rapid and blitz and online play in 2021. He won a qualifier to become a participant in the 2021 Bullet Chess Championship, won the Tata Steel India Rapid tournament, and placed second in Tata Steel India Blitz only after dropping the armageddon game to GM Levon Aronian.

The next year would see Arjun continue his rating gains in classical over-the-board events as well, as he joined the world elite.

Breakout Year

Arjun began 2022 as a top-10 junior, but outside of the world top 100, and he ended it as a super grandmaster, climbing more than 100 spots in the world rankings.

His year began with a victory at the 2022 Tata Steel Challengers tournament in January, where he scored 10.5/13 to win by two full points. In March, he became India's chess champion. And in June, Arjun won the 2022 Junior Speed Chess Championship, ending a two-year streak by Nihal. 

Arjun Erigaisi Indian Chess Championship
Arjun after winning the 2022 Indian Championship. Photo: Rakesh Kulkarni/

He was far from done. After winning the Abu Dhabi Chess Festival and then scoring 8.5/11 as the youngest player on India's A-team at the Chess Olympiad, both in August 2022, he gained 36 points on the September 2022 FIDE rating list. The huge month gave him a rating of 2725, which was 99 points higher than he had been exactly one year prior. In December he won the Tata Steel India Blitz tournament, one year after having come so close against Aronian.

Arjun Erigaisi
Arjun in round three of the 2022 Olympiad. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

By the end of 2022, Arjun had even signed a $1.5 million sponsorship deal. There was no doubt that he had arrived.

2023 and Beyond

In March of 2023, Arjun was the outright winner of the Sharjah Masters tournament, scoring 6.5 points of a possible nine, including 4.5 points in his last five games. That summer, he reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup before losing 5–4 in tiebreaks to his friend and countryman Praggnanandhaa.

Arjun just turned 20 in September 2023 and there is no telling how far he can go in the chess world.

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