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Ganguly retains National A Chess crown on tie-break

By Staff
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Visakhapatnam, Apr 18 (UNI) Grand Master Surya Shekhar Ganguly of IOC, facing a must-win situation came up with a brilliant last round win against S Kidambi of BPCL to retain the crown in the Men's 43rd National A Chess Championship at the Indoor Stadium here today.

For women, Swathi Ghate of LIC emerged champion as expected. She drew her last round match with talented Mary Ann Gomes (13 points) of West Bengal to top with 14 points. Dronavalli Harika of Andhra Pradesh, also among today's winners, finished third with 12.5 points. All three made it to the Indian team, which includes double GM Koneru Humpy, that takes part in Chess Olympiad to be played in Turin next month.

Ganguly, who suffered a shocking loss to Abhijit Kunte yesterday, was in a tight situation before the final round today. The star from Kolkata, who won the championship here last year, came well prepared, honing his killer instinct by practising till late last night. He overwhelmed his opponent with his Grunfeld defence in just 23 moves.

Sandipan Chanda of ONGC and D P Singh of Jharkhand finished second and third respectively by winning their last round matches today. Ganguly, Chanda and Singh finished with 14 points each but Ganguly emerged champion and Sandipan runner-up when the Koya system of tie-break was applied. The tie-break is worked out on the basis of a player's performance against strong players in the championship.

Chanda upstaged overnight leader Deepan Chakkravarthy of Tamil Nadu while Singh won a marathon 270-minute battle against Grand Master R B Ramesh of IOC.

Ganguly, Chanda and Singh made it to the Indian team for the Chess Olympiad. They would join Viswanathan Anand, K Sasikiran and P Harikrishna at Turin.

Deepan, who was half a point ahead of this trio with 13.5 points yesterday, crashed out as he failed to match the challenge from Sandipan. He needed at least a draw to stay in contention but lost to the seasoned Kolkata-based Grand Master in 44 moves to finish behind Abhijit Kunte. Kunte finished fourth on tiebreak.

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