The last few weeks have been very fruitful ones for Sahaj Grover. The 17-year-old from Delhi became a Grandmaster after completing the formalities at last month’s junior World championship in Athens and on Tuesday, he won the National junior chess title in Ajmer.
Grover, a former under-10 World champion and the 2011 junior World bronze medallist, defeated overnight leader Debashis Das in the final round to emerge a clear winner with 8.5 points from 11 rounds and justify his top billing.
Tamil Nadu’s Narayanan Srinath was runner-up while Maharashtra’s Vidit Santosh Gujrathi was third.
Maharashtra’s Rucha Pujari, the Asian junior bronze medallist, won the girls’ title with nine points.
Tamil Nadu dominated the girls’ event, taking seven of the top 10 spots.
Final placings: Open: 1. Sahaj Grover (Del, 8.5 pts), 2. Narayanan Srinath (TN, 8), 3. Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (Mah, 8), 4. Debashis Das (Ori, 8), 5. Anurag Mhamal (Goa, 8), 6. Diptayan Ghosh (WB, 8), 7. G.A. Stany (Kar, 8), 8. R. Ramnath Bhuvanesh (TN, 7.5), 9. Sahoo Utkal Ranjan (Ori, 7.5), 10. Kathmale Sameer (Mah, 7.5).
Girls: 1. Rucha Pujari (Mah, 9 pts), 2. J. Saranya (TN, 8.5), 3. G.K. Monisha (TN, 8.5), 4. Padmini Rout (Ori, 7.5), 5. P.V. Nandhidhaa (TN, 7.5), 6. R. Bharathi (TN, 7.5), 7. P. Michelle Catherine (TN, 7), 8. Bala Kannamma (TN, 7), 9. Sunyasakta Satpathy (Ori, 7), 10. U. Ashwini (TN, 7).
Important results (final round): Open: Sahaj Grover bt Debashis Das, V. Santosh Gujrathi drew with Ramnath Bhuvanesh, N. Srinath drew with K. Sameer, N.R. Vignesh drew with Diptayan Ghosh, G.A. Stany bt Gaurav Kumar.
Girls: Rucha Pujari bt P.V. Nandhidhaa, Michelle Catherine lost to J. Saranya, G.K. Monisha bt P. Bala Kannamma, U. Ashwini drew with Sunyasakta Satpathy, Padmini Rout bt Shweta Gole.
Keywords: National junior chess