Arjun Erigaisi is an Indian chess player who is known for winning the 28th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival in August 2022.
Arjun Erigaisi was born on Wednesday, 3 September 2003 (age 19 years; as of 2022) in Warangal, Telangana. His zodiac sign is Virgo. He attended Shine High School, Hanmakonda. He dropped out of college in his second year while he was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in data science.
Height (approx.): 5′ 3″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Arjun’s father’s name is Dr E. Srinivas Rao, who is a neurosurgeon.
Arjun Erigaisi with his father
His mother’s name is E. Jyothi.
Arjun Erigaisi with his mother
His sister’s name is Keerthana.
Arjun Erigaisi with his elder sister
Arjun’s first tournament was the under-nine selection tournament in 2011 and stood in the position of runner-up. In 2012, he won a gold medal in the State U-11 selections in Rajahmundry. In 2014, he won another gold in the Ahmedabad National U-13 championship. In 2015, he won a silver medal in the Asian Youth Championship.
Arjun Erigaisi at the Asian Youth Championship 2015
In 2016, he received the title of Candidate Master by the FIDE. In 2018, at the age of fourteen, he became the first grandmaster from Telangana. In 2018, he won a silver medal in the World Youth Under-16 chess tournament.
Arjun Erigaisi wins gold medal at the World Youth Under-16 chess tournament 2018
In 2021, he became the first Indian to qualify for the Goldmoney Asian Rapid of the Champions Chess Tour. In October 2021, he participated in the Junior U21 Round Table Open Chess Championship and stood second. In November 2021, he stood third in the Lindores Abbey Blitz Tournament. Later in November, he became the runner-up in the rapid and blitz section of the Tata Steel India Chess Tournament. In January 2022, he won Tata Steel Chess 2022 Challengers.
Arjun Erigaisi after winning Tata Steel Challengers 2022
In March 2022, he won the MPL National Championship of India and became the Indian National Champion.
Arjun Erigaisi after winning MPL National Championship 2022
Later in March, he won the 19th Delhi Open.
Arjun Erigaisi after winning 19th Delhi Open 202243
In 2022, he won a silver medal at the Chess Olympiad and became the seventh Indian to cross the 2700 ELO rating.
Arjun Erigaisi with his silver medal in the Chess Olympiad 2022
- Arjun’s FIDE rating as of September 2022 is 2725. His ranking is No. 24 as of September 2022.
- Arjun used to play chess with his friends for fun when he was a child, but later, he got serious about the game when he started winning tournaments. His father got him admission to the Race Academy at Kothapet, SBI Colony in 2015 when he was eleven years old.
Arjun Erigaisi as a kid
- In 2018, after becoming the first grandmaster at the age of fourteen, in an interview, he talked about his achievement and said,
It’s a proud feeling and I am very happy. I worked very hard to achieve this. I had to compete with several tough players during the tournament. But I am glad I eventually won. I ran and hugged my mom when I learnt I had become a Grandmaster.”
- In an interview, he talked about his win at the Tata Steel India Chess Tournament and said,
I was delighted to get that opportunity in the blitz, as I would have preferred it in the first place, to the rapid event. I never expected to win the rapid tournament; I would have been happy with a third.”
- In August 2022, after winning the silver medal in the Chess Olympiad, in an interview, he talked about this and said,
Competing in the maiden Chess Olympiad was a great experience. Since this was my first Olympiad, I wanted to make it a memorable one. As a team, we had better expectations. We were on course for a medal but we missed it. It was disappointing. But individually, I am happy with my performance. Winning silver in the individual category was satisfying.”
- According to Arjun, he practices for nine hours a day with his Israeli coach Mikhalevski Victor.
- Arjun used to take months off from school to attend tournaments and his principals and teachers have supported him a lot.
- In an interview, Arjun said that since the day he started playing chess, he has improved his mathematics. In the interview, he further said,
I became good at logical thinking and reasoning. I think most of the chess players feel the same way. One of my biggest challenges was handling failure. Initially, I used to feel bad after losing and my parents would cheer me up. But after a couple of years, I have learnt how to fight back.”
- In 2018, he contributed Rs. 50,000 as an aid to people affected by floods in Kerala.
- In January 2020, he attended the MicroSense Kramnik Gelfand Programme in Chennai.
Arjun Erigaisi attends MicroSense Kramnik Gelfand Programme 2020
- In an interview, he said that his parents supported him a lot financially, but he wanted sponsors for himself. In the interview, he further added,
My parents have been taking care of my expenses, but I think it would be great if that burden is softened by some sponsors. Chess at the highest level is very expensive.”
- According to Arjun’s coach, he is a soft-spoken person. In an interview, his coach Srinath Narayanan talked about him and said,
In general, he is very innocent and he likes chess a lot so in that sense, it’s very easy and pleasant to work with him. He is like a clean slate, he can observe whatever you tell him, teach him, and show him. I think that’s one of the most pleasant aspects of working with him.”