18-year-old GM Arjun Erigaisi is one of many young and very talented Indian chess grandmasters.
In 2016, he won the U-13 Indian Championship, and he became a grandmaster at the age of 14. He is currently number 3 on the world junior top 10 list.
In 2021, he qualified for the Champions Chess Tour, where he was knocked out by top player Levon Aronian, after a tie-break. This year, he won the Tata Steel Chess Challengers, scoring 10½ points over 13 rounds, and in March this year, he won the Indian Chess Championship.
He is participating in the TePe Sigeman Chess Tournament for the first time.
10 quick questions:
1) How many years have you played chess professionally?
I have been playing chess for close to 11 years now, but I would say professionally, it’s only been 4 years, as earlier I had not decided I would be a professional and I just kept playing out of interest.
2) At what age did you learn how to play chess?
When I was about 8 years old.
3) Who taught you how to play chess?
I went to a local coach in my city and he taught me the rules and everything.
4) What was your first big tournament success (tournament win or similar)?
I would say my first big win was winning U-13 National Championship in 2016. Of course it feels like a very small achievement now, but at that point it seemed huge.
5) Do you sometimes also participate in other sports/games? If so, which and at what level?
I just play table tennis with my sister sometimes but at a really horrific level and it’s just for fun and relaxation.
6) Do you have any family members or relatives that also play chess? If so, who and at what level?
My sister and father do know how to play, perhaps their strength could be between 1000 and 1100 FIDE Elo.
7) What would you be doing today, if you did not play chess professionally?
I wanted to become a scientist when I was young so perhaps that 🙂
8) How many languages do you speak?
I speak Telugu (my mother tongue), English and bad Hindi (widely spoken language in India) so it’s 3 but effectively only 2!
9) Who, in your opinion, is the greatest chess player of all time? Why?
At the moment to me it seems like Magnus Carlsen, as he’s hit the highest ever Elo rating achieved by a human being.
10) What do you hope to achieve in the 2022 TePe Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament?
It’s probably going to be the strongest classical tournament that I would be taking part in, so I hope to enjoy, play some good chess and finish in the top.