Jermuk, Armenia
June 9-18

Stepan Avagyan Memorial International RR 17 Category Tournament ։ Round 6


Round 6: Erigaisi pulls ahead of competitors


The main news of the day is that Elo's favorite and tournament leader Erigaisi has strengthened his lead over his competitors. After three consecutive draws, the Indian managed to secure his third victory, pulling ahead by a full point. The number of his close pursuers has decreased: Tabatabaei, Sevian, and Deac maintained the status quo, but Martirosyan overreached and lost with White to Hovhannisyan. Three rounds remain until the finish.

From the outside, most of Erigaisi's victories seem remarkably simple: his moves lack any mystery, they are straightforward and consistent, while his opponents seem to willingly stick their heads into the tiger's mouth, hoping to escape unscathed. But they don't! Arjun carefully exploits every opportunity and misses nothing. Today, Bluebaum felt the iron grip on his throat...  

Starting from move 10, their game is a true lesson in tactics, where the Indian grandmaster incrementally increased his advantage with every move, exploiting the smallest nuances. It seemed Black easily equalized, developing all pieces and relieving central tension. But... they simply couldn't keep up! First, they failed to take the doomed pawn on d5, then couldn't pressure the queenside pawns, and protect their pawns, which were casually taken by White without any compensation. After the collapse of the main plan, they couldn't utilize the precarious positions of the rooks and the weakened king. None of this worked, and the Black king ended up in trouble, losing its head on f4, driven by relentless fate! Not a game, but a true masterpiece! 

Against this backdrop, the other four games of the round appeared remarkably dull. Sevian and Deac hit a drawish wall in the new Italian game, and Sargsyan tried to find flaws in Petrosyan's preparation –uselessly. Murzin's fortifications in the Exchange Slav were solid: no matter how hard Tabatabaei tried to break through, Black fended off all threats with simple means.

Martirosyan's game against Hovhannisyan should have ended in a draw too, but... Haik seemed to decide to repay the debt from last year when he unexpectedly escaped without two pawns. Just like that time, he created problems for himself, and successfully dealt with them, but at the moment when everyone expected the opponents to shake hands, poor rook maneuvers created problems he couldn't resolve. Robert won a pawn, then a second, and when his king escaped perpetual check, White had to acknowledge the inevitable and stop the clock.

Stepan Avagyan Memorial. Round 6. Erigaisi – Bluebaum – 1-0, Martirosyan – Hovhannisyan – 0-1, Sevian – Deac, Tabatabaei – Murzin, Sargsyan – Petrosyan – draws. Standings after Round 6. 1. Erigaisi – 4,5; 2-4. Deac, Sevian, Tabatabaei – 3,5; 5-6. Martirosyan, Hovhannisyan – 3; 7-8. Petrosyan, Sargsyan – 2,5; 9-10. Bluebaum, Murzin – 2.


Developed by LAB64 LLC