Jermuk, Armenia
June 9-18

Stepan Avagyan Memorial International RR 17 Category Tournament ։ Round 9


Round 9. At the Finish Line – No Changes. Erigaisi – Champion!


Nine days of the captivating Stepan Avagyan Memorial have flown by, and the chess world bids farewell to Jermuk, at least until next year. The early winner, Erigaisi, was already crowned the day before, but even after securing first place, the Indian grandmaster was the last to leave the table, trying to press his opponent until the very end... In the end, Sevian, Tabatabaei, and Deac, who shared 2nd to 4th places, trailed by 1.5 points – an impressive result for a Category XVII tournament.


It has long been understood that Erigaisi is ready to play any color against any opponent. However, believing that the Elo-favorite would maintain such an incredible focus in a situation where there was nothing left to prove seemed almost impossible. Nonetheless, he pressed Petrosyan – Arjun likely remembered that Manuel had serious problems against both Tabatabaei and Sevian and could simply be exhausted. Therefore, the Indian immediately steered the game into an almost unchanging course, where the Armenian grandmaster was required to make independent decisions from the very first moves. But Petrosyan understood the position – he ambitiously sacrificed a pawn and provoked massive exchanges, which completely secured the white pieces and forced the black pieces to find precise moves to avoid a worse position despite the extra material... However, Petrosyan found no further development paths, and the game ended in a perpetual check.


By this time, all other games had already finished. Tabatabaei and Sevian were the first to finish. Both had been trying their best to catch up with the favorite for several rounds but, having failed, decided not to invent anything new and quickly agreed to a draw with Sargsyan and Hovhannisyan, respectively. The game between Deac and Martirosyan lasted a little longer, but the Romanian couldn't secure sole second place, and the opponents agreed to a draw after 28 moves.


Murzin and Bluebaum played almost until the first time control. In case of a victory, Volodar could move up from the last place, sending the German to that spot. But Matthias defended solidly with black, leaving his opponent without hope. By the 20th move, it was clear: such positions are not won!


The tournament ended almost exactly in line with the starting positions. Erigaisi remained in an unattainable position ("+4" in Jermuk brought him 10.5 Elo points, solidifying his 4th place in the world with a current rating of 2778). The holders of the starting positions from 2nd to 4th – Tabatabaei, Sevian, and Deac – took the next three places in exactly that order. Only the lowest-rated Hovhannisyan exceeded expectations, tying with Martirosyan with 50% of the possible points. The other two members of the Armenian team finished with "-1." The table was closed by traditional participants from Germany – Bluebaum ("-2") and Russia – Murzin ("-3").


See you in Jermuk-2025!


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

Developed by LAB64 LLC