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Arjun Erigaisi: From a Missed Candidates Spot to World No. 4

Arjun Erigaisi has climbed to World No. 4 in the FIDE Rating list for July 2024, marking a significant comeback after missing the Candidates. Alongside him, Gukesh D. and Praggnanandhaa R. have also secured spots in the top 10, making history for Indian chess.

Photo: Arjun Erigaisi personal Instagram account

Three Indians in World Top 10 for the First Time Ever

For the first time in the history of Indian chess, three Indian players have entered the World Top 10 in the FIDE Rating list for July 2024. Arjun Erigaisi is now World No. 4, the 2024 Challenger Gukesh D. holds the World No. 7 spot, and Praggnanandhaa R. is ranked World No. 8.

Arjun made a remarkable leap from World No. 8 by gaining 17 rating points, while Praggnanandhaa soared from World No. 14 with an impressive 15-point increase. This historic achievement underscores the rapid rise of Indian chess on the global stage.

Overcoming Setbacks: Arjun Erigaisi’s Journey

The year 2023 was challenging for Arjun Erigaisi, marked by the disappointment of not qualifying for the Candidates Tournament. However, Arjun’s resilience and determination helped him overcome these setbacks.

In an interview with Sagar Shah, Arjun revealed his shift in approach to the game. By detaching himself from ratings and results, he transformed his mental game. Incorporating practices like Yoga and Inner Engineering, Arjun developed a unique perspective on success and failure, which has been pivotal in his recent success.

Three Americans in World Top 10

Joining the ranks of top players, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, and Wesley So are in the top 10 for July. In this year’s Norway Chess tournament, Nakamura crossed the 2800 rating mark for the first time in nine years after defeating World Champion Ding Liren three times in a row. Nakamura also ascended to World No. 2 after Fabiano Caruana suffered consecutive endgame losses, including one against Praggnanandhaa.

The World Champion Ding Liren Falls Out of the Top 10

Norway Chess proved to be a tough tournament for World Champion Ding Liren, who finished last and endured multiple consecutive losses. “I’ve had four losses in a row… I even considered withdrawing from the tournament,” Ding shared with the Hindustan Times. Despite his efforts to recover, he concluded the tournament in last place.

As a result, Ding Liren has dropped to World No. 14, while the 2024 Challenger Gukesh D. has risen to World No. 7, reflecting the dynamic and unpredictable nature of top-level chess.

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