GM Ramesh crowned Commonwealth Chess Champion

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New Delhi, Dec 10 (UNI) Grandmaster RB Ramesh of India was today crowned the new Commonwealth chess champion after defeating overnight joint leader compatriot Vikramaditya Kamble in a thrilling 10th and final round match here today.

The former British Open champion, who was in the lead at the half-way stage but lost his way after that, recovered the lost ground with a fantastic rear-guard charge to score three consecutive wins in the last three rounds to become richer by Rs 1,37,500.

In the final round, he defeated Kamble with a flawless display of high quality chess to walk away winner with 8.5 total points.

Top seeded GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly, also from India, scored a fine win against the joint overnight leader IM Rathnakaran to finish with an identical score of 8.5 but had to be content with the second place due to an inferior tie-break. Ganguly, however, had the consolation of getting the same prize money of Rs 1,37,500.

Abhijeet Gupta, who finished his Grandmaster title requirement to become India's 17th Grandmaster, clinched the bronze with eight points. He bagged the cash prize of Rs 75000. Abhijeet also won gold in the Under-20 category.

IM Harika Dronavalli retained her women's title by finishing seventh overall in the very strong combined event, which had 13 Men's Grandmasters. She got a cash prize of Rs 40000.

WGM Tania Sachdev finished second behind Harika while WGM Nisha Mohota had to be content with third place.

The Indians also dominated the various age-group categories as their players won 44 of the 45 medals on offer.

GM Gawain Jones of England prevented the clean sweep by winning a bronze in the Under-20 category.

Two more Indian players, Pon Krithika and Preethi also earned their 1st Women's International Master norms.

Indian Gold winners: CH Meghna (Under-8); Vaibhav Suri (Boys U-10); Sahaj Grover (Boys U-12); Pratyusha Bodda (Girls U-12); Priyadarshan (Boys U-14); Padmini Rout (Girls U-14); GM Parimarjan Negi (Boys U-16); Pon N Krithika (Girls U-16); P Karthikeyan (Boys U-18); WIM Kiran Mohanty (Girls U-18); GM Abhijeet Gupta (Boys U-20); IM SC Sahu (Seniors) UNI

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