Tata Steel Chess | Aronian pips Arjun to title

Wins Armageddon after the two finish with 8.5 points and tie-breaker games end in draws

Levon Aronian likes this city and will like it more.

The Armenian won the blitz event of the Tata Steel Chess at the National Library on Sunday. But only after quelling a strong challenge from Arjun Erigaisi in the Armageddon could Aronian lay his hands on the trophy.

It may have been a disappointing end to the incredible run for the 18-year-old from Telangana, but it still turned out to be a great tournament for Arjun, who won the rapid section and tied for the top prize in blitz.

After the end of 18 rounds of blitz, Arjun and Aronian were both on 8.5 points, forcing a tie-breaker. The tie-breaker games — Arjun had a clear winning chance in both — were drawn. In the ensuing Armageddon, Aronian won with white pieces.

Aronian will have more reasons to like the City of Joy when he goes on a tour, guided by his friend and Grandmaster Surya Shekhar Ganguly, on Monday.

The results (Indians unless specified):

18th round: Raunak Sadhwani lost to Sam Shankland (US); Nihal Sarin lost to Parham Maghsoodloo (Ira); Le Quang Liem (Vie) lost to Arjun Erigaisi; Dronavalli Harika lost to Levon Aronian (Arm); Vidit Gujrathi lost to D. Gukesh.

17th: Gukesh lost to Sadhwani; Aronian drew with Gujrathi; Arjun bt Harika; Maghsoodloo bt Liem; Shankland lost to Nihal; 16th: Sadhwani lost to Nihal; Liem drew with Shankland; Harika lost to Maghsoodloo; Gujrathi lost to Arjun; Gukesh lost to Aronian.

15th: Aronian bt Sadhwani; Arjun lost to Gukesh; Magshoosdloo lost to Gujrathi; Shankland lost to Harika; Nihal lost to Liem; 14th: Sadhwani bt Liem; Harika lost to Nihal; Gujrathi lost to Shankland; Gukesh b Maghsoodloo; Aronian lost to Arjun.

13th: Arjun drew with Sadhwani; Maghsoodloo drew with Aronian; Shanlkand lost to Gukesh; Nihal bt Gujrathi; Liem bt Harika; 12th: Raunak bt Harika; Gujrathi drew with Liem; Gukesh lost to Nihal; Aronian lost to Shankland; Arjun lost to Maghsoodloo.

11th: Maghsoodloo lost to Sadhwani; Shankland drew with Arjun; Nihal drew with Aronian; Liem lost to Gukesh; Harika drew with Gujrathi; 10th: Sadhwani lost to Gujrathi; Gukesh drew with Harika; Aronian bt Liem; Arjun lost to Nihal; Maghsoodloo bt Shankland.

The standings: 1-2. Aronian and Arjun 11.5; 3-4. Maghsoodloo and Nihal 11; 5. Gukesh 10; 6. Liem 8.5; 7-8. Shankland and Sadhwani 8; 9. Gujrathi 6.5; 10. Harika 4.

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