Aryan and Urkedal reach the podium
A strong open tournament took place at the Norwegian city of Fagernes on April 10-17. The lineup was headed by three Indian players: Arjun Erigaisi, Krishnan Sasikiran and Nihal Sarin. They were closely followed rating-wise by Alexander Donchenko from Germany, Aram Hakobyan from Armenia and S.P. Sethuraman, also from India.
With such a well-represented Indian contingent, it is not surprising that five players from the South Asian country finished in the top 10. However, it was not the in-form Arjun who claimed first place, but 41-year-old Sasikiran. The experienced grandmaster from Madras was only the second player from India to reach a 2700 Elo rating, and is currently one of seven Indians belonging to the world top 100 in the official FIDE ratings list.
Sasikiran entered the final round in Fagernes a half point behind Aryan Chopra, the sole leader of the event. Facing Donchenko with black, Sasikiran showcased great tactical awareness to take down his German opponent in 55 moves.
Aryan, a 20-year-old grandmaster from Delhi, drew Frode Urkedal with the white pieces on top board, which meant he and his older compatriot finished tied atop the standings table on 7 out of 9 points. Sasikiran was declared tournament winner thanks to his better tiebreak score.
It was notwithstanding a strong performance by Aryan, who beat two grandmasters throughout the event — Stellan Brynell from Sweden and Kaido Kulaots from Estonia. Also satisfied with his performance must be Urkedal, who finished undefeated with a 2672 TPR to claim third place.
Ukrainian FM Semen Mitusov grabbed an IM norm, as he scored 5½ points after beating, among others, Sethuraman and Erik Blomqvist.
Top 4 in the GM group: Frode Urkedal (3rd), Aram Hakobyan (4th), Krishnan Sasikiran (1st) and Aryan Chopra (2nd) | Photo: Tom Eriksen
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