Chess: India has a new No 1 as Arjun Erigaisi climbs to world No 9

NEW DELHI: India has a new number 1 in the latest chess rankings: Arjun Erigaisi was the top-ranked Indian in the latest FIDE rankings released by the world governing body of chess on Monday.
With a standard rating of 2756, Erigaisi is ranked ninth in the world. Following him is five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, who is the second ranked Indian on the FIDE list.
The 21-year-old Erigaisi collected eight points in the 5th Shengzhen Chess Masters and Bundesliga and mounted to the ninth position on the list. This is his debut in the top 10 in the Open standard list.
Anand is on 11th spot in the ratings with a rating of 2751.
Anand is followed by the Candidates troika of 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa R, 17-year-old Gukesh D and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, who will all be in action at the prestigious Candidates tournament later this week.
While Pragg is 14th in FIDE charts with a rating of 2747. Gukesh is 16th with 2743. The 29-year-old Vidit is 25th with 2727 points.
Former world champion Magnus Carlsen still tops the charts with a rating of 2830. Following him are two Americans: Fabiano Caruana (rating of 2803) and Hikaru Nakamura (rating of 2789). Both Caruana and Nakamura are the favourites to win the Candidates, which will earn them the right to take on world champion Ding Liren.
The Chinese star is currently in fifth spot in the FIDE ratings with 2762 points.
Two other contenders at the Candidates 2024 chess tournament — France’s Alireza Firouzja (2760, ranked 6th) and Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi (2758, ranked 7th) — are also among the top 10 rating spots.
Meanwhile, in the women’s ratings, Koneru Humpy ranked fifth with a rating of 2546 while Harika Dronavalli is 11th with 2503 points. The other Indian to compete at the women’s Candidates tournament, R Vaishali, is 15th with 2475 points.
Carlsen, who qualified for the event but has declined to compete, recently said on a Norwegian podcast Sjakksnakk (chess chat) that if any of the three Indians won the open Candidates event, “it would be a shock”.
Carlsen went on to add: “The Candidates is psychologically, for me, almost as tough as the world championship, for sure.”

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