B. Adhiban of Petroleum retained the National B chess title beating Mary Ann Gomes in the final round of the National challenger event here at the Town Hall on Monday.
Adhiban, who became the youngest player when he won the event last year in Goa and still continues to hold that honour at 17, came up with a consistent show that saw him net 10.5 points from 13 rounds.
There was a four-way tie for the second position with Himanshu Sharma (Haryana), Deep Sengupta (Petroleum), Mary Ann Gomes (Bengal) and M.S. Thejkumar (Railways) tallying 9.5 points each. Sharma took the runner-up position in the Buchholz system which was applied to break the tie.
Sengupta, the sole leader till the 11th round, had to be content with the third spot while Mary Ann became the best woman player taking the overall fourth position. Thejkumar came fifth.
Adhiban, who is also the World under-16 champion, showed poise and class, and came up with his best in the last two rounds where he played flawlessly to pick up crucial points.
Playing against Mary Ann, with whom he shared the top spot in the penultimate round, Adhiban went for the kill with a strong attack while Mary Ann, with her French defence, struggled to contain him.
Adibhan opted for the Tarrasch Variation on the kingside and made quick inroads. Mary Ann lost a pawn on the kingside on the 26th move and also the game as Abhiban’s pieces penetrated her weakened back rank.
“I had some frustrating draws in the earlier rounds but once Deep (Sengupta) lost in the 11th round cutting the lead to half a point, I knew I would do it,” said Adhiban.
“I had the advantage of playing with white and having known Mary’s game I went all out and succeeded,” he added. Mary Ann, who had won four games on the trot to share the leadership overnight, remained a win short of creating history as the first woman National B champion.
For his efforts, Adhiban received a cash award of Rs. 60,000 while Sharma got Rs. 35,000. The top 30 players of the tournament qualified for the National A tournament, which will be held on a later date.
Top positions: 1. B. Adhiban (PSPB) 10.5; 2. Himanshu Sharma (Har) 9.5 (Buchholz tie-break points - 97); 3. Deep Sengupta (PSPB) 9.5 (94); 4. Mary Ann Gomes 9.5 (87.5); 5. M.S. Thejkumar (RSPB) 9.5 (83); 6. Sapatarshi Roy Chowdhury (RSPB) 9 (93); 7. P.D.S. Girinath (RSPB) 9 (91.5); 8. Swapnil Dhopade (Mah) 9 (89.5-74); 9. Padmini Rout (Ori) 9 (89.5-73.5); 10. Somak Palit (Ben) 9 (89.5-73); 11. Joydeep Dutta (Ben) 9 (89); 12. T. Abhay (TN) 9 (88.5-73.5); 13. B.T. Murali Krishnan (RSPB) 9 (88.5-73); 14. Anwesh Upadhyay (Ori) 9 (88.5-72); 15. Arvind Shastry (Kar) 9 (87.5); 16. Narayanan Srinath (TN) 9 (87); 17. K. Priyadharshan (TN) 9 (82.5); 18. R. Balasubramaniam (RSPB) 9 (82); 19. D.P. Singh (RSPB) 9 (79.5); 20. Vidit Gujrathi (Mah) 8.5 (94.5); 21. Rahul Sangma (Del) 8.5 (90.5); 22. M. Shyamsundar (TN) 8.5 (89-73.5-64.75); 23. R. Ramnath Bhuvanesh (TN) 8.5 (89-73.5-64); 24. P. Maheswaran (TN) 8.5 (89-73); 25. P. Shyam Nikil (TN) 8.5 (88); 26. Anurag Mhamal (Goa) 8.5 (86.5); 27. Varugeese Koshy (TN) 8.5 (86-71); 28. N. Sudhakar Babu (IB) 8.5 (86-70.5-65); 29. Syed Anwar Shazuli (RSPB) 8.5 (86-70.5-63.25); 30. Matta Vinay Kumar (AB) 8.5 (85.5).