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Laxman bags Commonwealth Chess gold

May 18, 2010 19:00 IST

Indian Grandmaster R R Laxman walked away with the gold medal while Russia's Pavel Maletin won the overall title in the Parsvnath Commonwealth Chess Championship that concluded in Delhi on Tuesday.

Playing with black pieces, Laxman sprang a major surprise on Argentinean GM Pablo Lafuente in a heavy pieces endgame, to produce his best performance ever.

Maletin won the Open title following a 31-move draw against M R Lalith Babu on the top board.

Both Maletin and Laxman were tied at nine points out of a possible 11 rounds but since Russia is not a part of the Commonwealth, the medal was awarded to the Indian.

Maletin's had a superior tie-break score over Laxman on Bucholz count in the final standings.

The silver was won by Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta, who finished overall third, a half point behind the two leaders.

In the final round, Abhijeet, a former world junior champion and reigning Asian bronze medallist, misplayed a better position to eventually settle for a draw with Russian Dmitry Bocharov.

Lalith Babu won the bronze medal after his fifth place finish in the overall standings.

Maletin received Rs 1,60,000 and a trophy, Laxman collected Rs 1,15,000 while Abhijeet went home richer by Rs 50,000.

In the women's section, D Harika won the gold medal, edging past compatriot Tania Sachdev in the tie-breaker.

Harika, who had decided to withdraw from the championship on the eve of the final round due to illness, was lucky in the final game that she won from a drawn position.

Tania had started the day a half point ahead but following a draw in her final game, she could only inch herself up to 7.5 points wherein Harika's tie-breaker was superior.

The bronze went to S Meenakshi who also scored 7.5 points but had the low tiebreak.

The Junior category title was won by Lalith Babu, who gave yet another compelling display in the event. Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi got the silver in this section while the bronze went to Ashwin Jayaram.

The Junior girls' title went to R Preethi, while A Sithalatchumi won the silver and former national junior champion Bhakti Kulkarni laid her hands on the bronze.

In the under-16 category, Sahaj Grover outplayed K Priya Dharshan in the final round to secure the gold.

Important results Round-11 (Indians otherwise stated):

GM Pavel Maletin of Russia (9) drew with Lalith Babu MR (8.5); GM Abhijeet Gupta (8.5) drew with GM Dmitry Bocharov of Russia (8.5); GM Pablo Lafuente of Argentina (8) lost to GM RR Laxman (9); GM Abhijit Kunte (8) drew with GM Alexey Dreev of Russia (8); GM Tejas Bakre (8) drew with GM Parimarjan Negi (8); GM Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan (8) beat Prasanna Rao (7.5); IM Narayanan Srinath (7.5) drew with GM Dmitry Kokarev of Russia (7.5); GM Martyn Kravtsiv of Ukraine (7) lost to IM Mahmood Lodhi of Pakistan (8); Rustam Khusnutdinov of Kazakhstan (7.5)

drew with IM Shyam Sundar (7.5); GM Saidali Iuldachev of Uzbekistan (8) beat Gurpreet Pal Singh (7); IM Suvrajit Saha (7) lost to GM Enamul Hossain of Bangladesh (8); Ramnath Bhuvanesh (7) lost to IM Ashwin Jayaram (8); FM Nitin S (8) beat Anwesh Upadhyaya (7); IM Sahaj GroverĀ  (8) beat IM Priyadharshan (7); IM P Konguvel (8) beat FM Sayantan Das (7).

Placings:

Open: 1. Pavel Maletin (Rus, 9), 2. R. R. Laxman (9), 3. Abhijeet Gupta (8.5), 4. Dmitry Bocharov (Rus, 8.5), 5. M R Lalith Babu (8.5).

Commonwealth (Open): 1. R R Laxman (9), 2. Abhijeet Gupta (8.5), 3. M R Lalith Babu (8.5); 1.

Women: 1. D Harika (7.5), 2. Tania Sachdev (7.5), 3. S. Meenakshi (7.5).

Under-20 (Open): 1. M R Lalith Babu (8.5), 2. Parimarjan Negi (8), 3. Ashwin Jayaram (8).

(Girls): 1. R Preethi (6.5), 2. A Sithalatchumi (6.5), 3. Bhakti Kulkarni (6).

Under-18: (Open): 1. S Nitin (8), 2. Debashis Das (7.5), 3. Shyam Sundar (7.5); (Girls): 1. Devangi Patankar (6), 2. J. Saranya (6), 3. C H Savetha (6).

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