Abhijeet Gupta, Soumya Swaminathan reign supreme

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PROUD WINNERS: Abhijeet Gupta (left) and Soumya Swaminathan who won the boys' and girls' titles in the National junior chess championship.
PROUD WINNERS: Abhijeet Gupta (left) and Soumya Swaminathan who won the boys' and girls' titles in the National junior chess championship.

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Amid mounting tension, Bhilwara-boy Abhijeet Gupta and Pune-girl Soumya Swaminathan held their nerve to score decisive victories in their respective categories for honours in the Parvsnath National junior chess championship at the Bapu Samaj Sewa Kendra here on Wednesday.

The final day's action was filled with suspense as more than one result impacted the making of the eventual champions. Abhijeet regained the title, won in 2002, with a timely triumph over B. Adhiban for a tally of 8.5 points. Soumya defended her title by taming surprise-packet Padmini

Rout and pipping Mary Ann Gomes on tiebreak after aggregating 7.5 points.

Eyeing the title

At one time, Abhijeet looked in deep trouble and Adhiban was eying the title. However, the Tamil Nadu boy faltered in time pressure and lost two minor pieces for a rook before surrendering in 59 moves. The title for the Bharat Petroleum scholarship holder was worth Rs. 12,900 and a place in the next National `A'.

Even as Abhijeet headed for victory, Aswin Jayaram, the other overnight leader, was fighting a losing battle against eventual runner-up and former champion G.N. Gopal. In the endgame, Gopal's three extra pawns proved more than a handful for Aswin. Gopal and Jharkhand's Abhishek Das tied with eight points.

Tiebreak score

Gopal's superior tiebreak score earned him Rs. 10,500 and a berth in National `A'. Abhishek, who defeated S.P. Sethuraman for his fourth straight victory, received Rs. 8,800. In the girls' section, Soumya received Rs. 11,600 and booked a place in the women's National `A'.

Mary evened her head-to-head tally against former champion Kruttika Nadig and collected Rs. 10,000.

Tamil Nadu girl P. Sivasankari tamed Kiran Mohanty on the third board to take the third spot, worth Rs. 7,700. Since Mary is already seeded for the National `A', it remains to be seen whether the All India Chess Federation allows Sivasankari a place in the National championship.

The results: Open (10th round): B. Adhiban (7) lost to Abhijeet Gupta (8.5); Aswin Jayaram (7.5) lost to G.N. Gopal (8); Abhishek Das (8) bt S.P. Sethuraman (7); T. Purushothaman (7) drew with Soumitra Majumdar (7); Sahaj Grover (6.5) lost to Arun Karthik (7.5); G. Rohit (6) bt R. Premnath (6.5); S. Nitin (6) lost to D. Harika (7); V. Haribalu (6.5) drew with Akshat Khamparia (6.5); R. Ashwath (7) bt Anwesh Upadhyay (6); Shreyansh Daklia (7) bt Vipul Subhashi (6); P. Karthikeyan (7) bt Gurpreet Singh Maras (6); Fenil Shah (6.5) drew with Avi Bagdi (6).

Standings: 1. Abhijeet, 2-3. Gopal and Abhishek; 4-5. Aswin and Karthik; 6-14. Adhiban, Purushothaman, Rohit, Harika, Sethuraman, Ashwath, Majumdar, Karthikeyan and Shreyansh.

Girls (ninth round): Padmini Rout (6.5) lost to Soumya Swaminathan (7.5); Mary Ann Gomes (7.5) bt Kruttika Nadig (6); P. Sivasankari (7) bt Kiran Mohanty (6); Lakshmi Sahiti (5.5) lost to Mahima Rajmohan (6); P. Priya (6.5) bt Tejaswini Reddy (5.5); M. Rajadharshini (6) drew with Iswarya Shobana (6); Devangi Patankar (6.5) bt R. Preethi (5); Saheli Nath (5.5) drew with Sukanya Dutta (5.5); P. Uthra (6) bt K. Nayana (5); Ketaki Kulkarni (6) bt Thelma Gopal (5); Aswathy Balagopalan (6) bt K. Tejaswi (5).

Standings: 1-2. Soumya and Mary; 3-4. Sivasankari and Mahima; 5-7. Padmini, Priya and Devangi; 8-14. Kiran, Kruttika, Uthra, Rajadarshini, Iswarya, Tejaswi, Ketaki and Saheli.

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