Arjun Erigaisi optimistic about India’s chances at Chess Olympiad | Chess News

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CHENNAI: Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi, who has seen his stock rise in recent months, is optimistic about India’s chances at the upcoming Chess Olympiads.
The 18-year-old chess player from Telangana has won a handful of tournaments so far this year and became the highest-rated Indian in the world blitz rankings at 13th place.
The young general manager, who is aiming to break the 2700 (Elo) barrier soon, believes Indian teams are strong and could do well at the 44th Olympiad later this year. His current FIDE rating is 2681 in the Classic category and 2745 (in Blitz).
After winning the Challengers section of the prestigious Tata Steel chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee (Netherlands) earlier this year and having the opportunity to compete in the Masters section in 2023, he has improved over time. time.
Erigaisi, however, feels he hasn’t done anything specific, saying “I don’t think anything specific has changed in matches since 2021. I work the same way, and just that I do more. efforts.”
“I think I’ve played a lot of tournaments and it also helps me to improve my game and the opening… Previously they were kind of a weakness, but now it’s an area where I do better,” Erigaisi, who also won the Delhi Open and the national championship earlier this year, told PTI during an interaction.
He is expected to be one of the key members of India’s squad for the Olympiad, which will be held in Mahabalipuram from July 28 to August 10.
“I think we have quite strong teams – both ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams. At the moment USA are the favorites with an average rating of 2756. We certainly have a good chance of beating them. We just have to perform well and how we play during the tournament matters the most,” said Erigaisi, who will be part of the India squad. ‘A’ team in the Open event, said.
Indian teams recently held a pre-Olympic preparation camp under the watchful eyes of legendary Viswanathan Anand and former World Championship finalist Boris Gelfand, which Erigaisi says was very good and helped to create team bonds.
“Yes, the first camp was very intensive. We learned a lot and we built a bond sitting there. It was good and we had a lot of fun. The second camp will be held separately for members of the ‘A’ and the ‘B’ teams,” he added.
“They (Anand and Gelfand) taught us how to conquer from better positions and offer more resistance and other things. And not just the chess part, but they also talked a lot about psychology.”
Specifically, he said Gelfand discussed how to convert better positions and offer more resistance.
The Telangana player, whose immediate goal is to break the 2700 (Elo) barrier, said he wants to keep improving and “eventually become the world champion”.
Indian players like R Praggnanandhaa, who has beaten world number one Magnus Carlsen twice this year, himself and D Gukesh have done well this year and Erigaisi said they need to keep improving constantly to challenge the best in the game.
“Since 2021, Gukesh and I have improved a lot, so we have to continue in the same way to be able to challenge the best,” he added.
On areas where there was room for improvement for him, he said: “I think right now I’m more of a complete player and I don’t have any specific weaknesses. But I should improve my game by as a player in general with all aspects of the game.”



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