NEW DELHI: International Master G.N. Gopal made his second Grandmaster norm by scoring over Armenian GM Arman Pashikian in the ninth and final round of the Lake Sevan chess tournament at Martuni, Armenia, on Saturday.

Gopal, a former National junior champion, defeated the overnight leader in 61 moves with black pieces to tie for the top spot at 5.5 points.

He eventually took the second spot due to inferior tiebreak score behind Ukraine’s Yuri Vovk.

Gopal produced his life-best performance in this round-robin tournament with a rating strength of 2620 against his current rating of 2480.

Gopal’s victims included top seed Tigran Petrosian, fourth seed Tigran Kotanjian, sixth seed Li Chao and seventh seed Arman Pashikian. Gopal’s maiden GM norm came in the International Open in Kolkata earlier this year.

Another great bit of news for the Indian chess fans on Saturday came from Differdange, Luxembourg, when second seed K. Humpy won the Kaupthing Open chess title on superior tiebreak over Israel’s Hannes Stefansson.

Humpy defeated Germany’s Sebastian Siebrecht in 34 moves in the ninth and final round to reach seven points. Stefanssson got the better of Viktor Erdos, the only player in the overnight six-player leaders’ pack whose tiebreak score was better than Humpy’s.

The results: At Martuni (Armenia): Ninth round: Arman Pashikian (Arm) lost to G.N. Gopal; Yuri Vovk (Ukr) bt Hrant Melkumyan (Arm); David Arutinian (Geo) lost to Li Chao (Chn); Tigran Kotanjian (Arm) drew with Tigran Petrosian (Arm); Macieja Bartlomeij (Pol) drew with Avetik Grigoryan (Arm). Eighth round: Gopal drew with Arutinian; Petrosian lost to Pashikian; Chao bt Bartlomiej; Grigoryan bt Vovk; Melkumyan bt Kotanjian. Final standing: 1-3. Yovk, Gopal and Chao (5.5 each), 4-5. Bartlomiej and Pashikian (5 each), 6-7. Melkumyan and Petrosian (4.5 each), 8-9. Arutinian and Grigoryan (3.5 each), 10. Kotanjian (2.5).

At Differdange (Luxembourg): Ninth round: K. Humpy (7) bt Sebastian Siebrecht (Ger, 6). Eighth round: Tigran Gharamian (Fra, 6) drew with Humpy (6); Vadim Malakhatko (Bel, 5.5) bt G. Rohit (4.5).

At Ottawa (Canada): Eighth round: Vadim Milov (Sui, 6) drew with Sandipan Chanda (6); Abhijit Kunte (5.5) bt Timon van Dijk (Ned, 4.5).

At Benasque (Spain): Tenth round: Aleksander Delchev (Bul, 7.5) drew with Abhijeet Gupta (7.5); Levan Pantsulaia (Geo, 7.5) bt R.B. Ramesh (6.5); Aswin Jayaram (7.5) bt Rashad Babaev (Aze, 6.5); Marijan Petrov (Bul, 7.5) bt Eesha Karavade (6.5); Deepan Chakkravarthy (7) bt Jesus Cortes Lizano (Esp, 6); Dinesh Kumar Sharma (6.5) drew with Sahaj Grover (6.5); Tania Sachdev (6) drew with Juan Sanchez Paredes (Esp, 6); Soumya Swaminathan (5.5) lost to Alfredo Brito Garcia (Esp, 6.5); R. Arun Karthik (6.5) bt Fernando Semprun Martinez (Esp, 5.5); Abhishek Das (6.5) bt Roquelina Fandino Reyes (Cub, 5.5); L. Shobana Iswarya (5.5) lost to Benjamin Abel Garcia Romero (Esp, 5.5); Manuel Pijuan Herranz (Esp, 5.5) lost to Devangi Patankar (6.5); Hector Marrero Falcon (Esp, 5.5) lost to Kruttika Nadig (6.5); T. Purushothaman (6) drew with Erik Juez Villar (Esp, 6). Indians’ final standing: 11. Aswin, 19. Abhijeet, 33. .Deepan, 38. Ramesh, 44. Abhishek, 49. Sahaj, 53. Dinesh Sharma, 69. Kruttika, 71. Arun, 78. Devangi, 79. Eesha, 91. Purushothaman, 93. Tania, 124. Soumya, 152. Iswarya Shobana.

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