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Saptarishi, Priya clinch titles

By Our Chess Correspondent

P. Priya and Saptarishi Roy, the winners at the Jaya Engineering College National under-18 chess championship at Tiruninravur on Tuesday.

CHENNAI SEPT. 2. Saptarishi Roy of Goodricke National Chess Academy and P. Priya of Tamil Nadu won the boys and girls titles in the Jaya Engineering College National under-18 chess championship that concluded at Tiruninravur on Tuesday. Both Saptarishi Roy and Priya booked their tickets to the world under-18 chess championship to be played in Greece this October.

Both title-deciding games went down to the wire. Priya retained her National U-18 title defeating Amruta Mokal of Maharashtra after a four-hour seesawing suspense. Saptarishi Roy beat former world under-12 champion Deep Sengupta of Jharkhand to win his third National title. He had earlier won the National under-12 and under-16 titles in 1998 and 1999. He scored 7.5 points and had the better tie-break score than Abhishek Das of Jharkhand.

"In 2000-2001, I had finished runner-up many times and this success came after I played very casually," said Saptarishi, a twelfth standard student from Kolkata.

Abhishek Das of Jharkhand was lucky that his draw offer on move 21 was not taken by Praveen Kumar. Praveen had compensation for the exchange but the turning down of the draw made the black player furious that he stormed his queen-side pawns to win a dozen moves later. Abhishek had the lower cut progressive score than Saptarishi Roy after both players had identical progressive score of 36.5 while tying on 7.5 points.

Nabeel Farheen humbled Ishwarya Shobana in 35 moves by winning pawns at will and later a bishop. That left Amruta Mokal and Priya battling for the title on the top board. If the game ended in a draw, the title was Nabeela's. However, that did not happen and Priya rose from a pawn down ending to queen a pawn. Still, Amruta had the better chances and the title opportunity swung back and forth until Priya won a bishop and went for a mate to end the suspense.

Priya, an eleventh standard student from the Krishnaswamy Matriculation School, K.K. Nagar in Chennai, was delighted at winning the title clearly with 7.5 points. This is her second straight National title. Nabeela Farheen, a first year B. Com student from M.O.P. Vaishnav College, Chennai, finished second with seven points. Soumya Swaminathan of Pune finished third with a lower tie-break score also having seven points.

The top seed and International Master Deepan Chakravarthy scored over Arjun Towari to take the third place on seven points.

Prof. A. Kanagaraj, Jaya Group of Educational Institutions, gave away the prizes and promised that there would be more chess events at Jaya Engineering College in future.

Final placings:

Boys: 1-2. Saptarishi Roy (GNCA), Abhishek Das (Jha) 7.5/9 each; 3. Deepan Chakravarthy (ECC) 7; 4-5. Abhijit Gupta (Raj), Vijay Keerthi (MYCA) 6.5 each; 6-15. Arjun Tiwari (Mah), Deep Sengupta (Jha), C. Praveen Kumar (CHCA), R. Siddarth (TN), Himanshu Kumar (Del), K. Nikhilesh Kumar (AP), V. Hari Balu (TN), T.U. Navin Kanna (TN), K. Sujeesh (AKCF), R. Arun Karthik (MACA) 6 each.

Girls: 1. P. Priya (TN) 7.5/9; 2-3. S. Nabeela Farheen (AICF), Soumya Swaminathan (Mah) 7 each; 4-7. Amruta Mokal (Mah), Anjanaa Sowjanyaa (TN), L. Ishwarya Shobana (TN), H. Nilavoli (TN) 6 each; 8-13. Supriya Maji (WB), N. Raghavi (TN), R. Mahima (TN), P. Malarselvi (Capa), Baisakhi Das (Jha), P. Siva Sankari (Capa) 5.5 each.

Important results (ninth and final round):

Boys: Saptarishi Roy (GNCA) 7.5 bt Deep Sengupta (Jha) 6; C. Praveen Kumar (CHCA) 6 lost to Abhishek Das (Jha) 7.5; Deepan Chakravarthy (ECC) 7 bt Arjun Tiwari (Mah) 6; Vijay Keerthi (MYCA) 6.5 bt S. Poobesh Anand (TN) 5.5; Abhijit Gupta (Raj) 6.5 bt S. Arun Prasad (TN) 5; Tanmoy Pattanayak (ALCA) 5.5 lost to R. Siddarth (TN) 6; Vipal Subhashi (Bih) 5 lost to R. Arun Karthik (MACA) 6; K. Sujeesh (AKCF) 6 bt T. Abhay (TN) 5; K. Nikhilesh Kumar (AP) 6 bt K.S. Srikar (APVI) 5; V. Hari Balu (TN) 6 bt R.V. Shandilya (Jha) 5; T.U. Navin Kanna (TN) 6 bt T. Purushothaman (TNAP) 5; Himanshu Kumar (Del) 6 bt Uttam Sharma (AICF) 5.

Girls: Amruta Mokal (Mah) 6 lost to P. Priya (TN) 7.5; Nabeela Farheen (AICF) 7 bt L. Ishwarya Shobana (TN) 6; Supriya Maji (WB) 5.5 lost to Soumya Swaminathan (Mah) 7; H. Nilavoli (TN) 6 bt Nimmy George (AKCF) 5; N. Raghavi (TN) 5.5 drew with R. Mahima (TN) 5.5; M. Rajadarshini (TN) 5 lost to Anjanyaa N. Sowjanyaa (TN) 6; P. Siva Sankari (Capa) 5.5 drew with Baisakhi Das (Jha) 5.5; P. Malarselvi (CHCA) 5.5 bt S. Ramya (Pdy) 4.5.

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