Harsha Bharathakoti of Andhra and Aakanksha Hagawane of Maharashtra emerged champions in the National under-13 chess championship, which concluded at Puducherry on Monday.
Harsha lost the centre pawn with white and was lucky that Asian under-12 champion Raghunandan accepted the draw on move 30.
Kumar Gaurav sacrificed a bishop for a promising attack. Abhimanyu counter sacrificed a knight and offered a draw on move 23 in a complicated position that was surprisingly accepted.
Mitrabha posted his fourth win in a row, beating Dhananjay in 66 moves from a rook ending and tied for the first place.
Harsha, Abhimanyu, Mitrabha tied for the first place on 8.5 points and finished in that order after tie-break scores was applied. Both overnight leaders Harsha and Abhimanyu appeared to be in trouble at one stage, but escaped with draws. Mitrabha’s fourth win in a row helped him tie for first, but finish only third.
With no surprises in the girls’ section, Aakanksha and Vaishali took the top two places. But here too, Himli missed her opportunity.
In the girls’ top board game, Aakanksha won Hilmi Parveen’s queen on move 59 to become the champion. Hilmi held the upper hand, but exchanged her active rook for a passive enemy rook on move 28 that allowed the game to change around.
World under-12 girls’ champion Vaishali overcame Asian champion Riya in a 47-move rook-ending to take the second place.
The winners received Rs. 20,000 each, and prize money totalling Rs. 1.75 lakh was distributed. The top three finishers will represent India in the Asian and World under-14 championships of 2014.
Final placings (tie-break order):
Boys: 1-3. Harsha Bharathakoti (AP), Abhimanyu Puranik (Mah), Mitrabha Guha (WB) 8.5/11 each; 4-8. K.S. Raghunandan (Kar), Kumar Gaurav (Bih), Barath Kalyan, A. Harikrishnan, P. Hirthickkesh (all TN) 8 each; 9-17. Y. Grahesh (AP), Siva Mahadevan (TN), S. Dhananjay (Cg), S. Jayakumar (TN), A. Abhishek (Ker), R. Prajesh (TN), Anirudh Aiyengar (TN), E. Arun (AP), R. Dileep Kumar (TN) 7.5 each.
Girls: 1. Aakanksha Hagawane (Mah) 9.5/11; 2. R. Vaishali (TN) 8.5; 3-4. Bidhar Rutumbara (Odi), Harshita Guddanti (AP) 8 each; 5-8. K. Priyanka (TN), Riya Savant (Goa), Tejaswini Sagar (Mah), S. Ananya (Kar) 7.5 each; 9-14. Arpita Mukherjee (WB), Vishwa Shah (Mah), Hilmi Parveen (Ker), P. Supreetha (AP), Sakshi Chitlange (Mah), Vanita Agrawal (Del) 7 each.
Important results (round 11):
Boys: Kumar Gaurav drew with Abhimanyu Puranik; Harsha drew with Raghunandan; Mitrabha bt S. Dhananjay.
Girls: Aakanksha bt Hilmi Parveen; Riya lost to Vaishali; Priyanka lost to Bidhar Rutumbara.
Keywords: National under-13 chess championship