Lalith Babu claims title

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PROUD MOMENT: The champions, Andhra Pradesh’s M.R. Lalith Babu and Maharashtra’s Soumya Swaminathan.
PROUD MOMENT: The champions, Andhra Pradesh’s M.R. Lalith Babu and Maharashtra’s Soumya Swaminathan.

Principal Correspondent

CHESS / Soumya Swaminathan bags women’s crown

TADEPALLIGUDEM: Andhra Pradesh’s M.R. Lalith Babu and Maharashtra’s Soumya Swaminathan won the National junior titles at the 38rd National junior boys’ and 23rd National junior girls’ chess championship that concluded at the Sasi Institute of Technology and Engineering here on Tuesday.

Vijayawada’s Lalith Babu, a 15-year-old intermediate student of Chaitanya College, logged nine points after 11 rounds, to win the title.

In the crucial last-round top board game, Lalith, defeated Orissa’s Debashis Das in 33 moves. Lalith, with white pieces, played aggressively in the Slav defence to outplay his rival.

Tamil Nadu’s International Master Karthikeyan, who finished second, outwitted Delhi’s Rahul Sangma in 22 moves. Rahul, playing white in the Ruy Lopez, saw his rival making an uncommon variation in the third move. Rahul opted for a side variation to put Karthikeyan in a spot of bother. However Rahul’ sacrifice of a piece in the ninth move allowed Karthikeyan to seize the initiative to down Rahul.

Women’s International Master IM Soumya Swaminathan, who assured herself of the title on Monday, scored an impressive win over Tamil Nadu’s Sathya Priya in 52 moves to finish the tournament with a tally of 10 points. Orissa’s Padmini Rout agreed for a quick nine-move draw against Kerala’s Meenu Rajendran to grab the second spot with 8.5 points.

The winners in both the segments carried home Rs. 16,000 each while the runners-up pocketed Rs. 11,000 each.

Important results (eleventh and final round):

Boys: M.R. Lalith Babu (AP) 9 bt Debashis Das (Ori) 7; V.A.V. Rajesh (TN) 7.5 lost to B. Adhiban (TN) 8.5; Rahul Sangma 7 lost to P. Karthikeyan (TN) 8.5; M. Shyam Sundar (TN) 8 bt T. Abhay (TN) 7; Jain Shreyansh Daklia (Chatt) 8 bt K. Priyadharshan (TN) 7; S.P. Sethuraman (TN) 7.5 bt R. Premnath (TN) 6.5; Ashwin Jayaram (TN) 7.5 bt Akshat Khamparia (MP) 6.5; N. Srinath (TN) 6.5 lost to Sagar Shah (Mah) 7.5; Anvesh Upadhyaya (Ori) 7 drew with S. Nitin (TN) 7; Ittyara Paul (Ker) 6.5 lost to Shyam Naik (TN) 7.5; Arun Karthik (TN) 6.5 lost to Vishnu Prasanna (TN) 7.5; Hariharasudan (TN) 6 lost to Swapnil Dhopade (Mah) 7; Grover Sahaj (Del) 7 bt Y. Sandeep (AP) 6; M. Surya Narayana (AP) 6 lost to Navin Kanna (TN) 7; M. Dilshad (Ker) 6 lost to D. Ibrahim (TN) 7.

Girls: Soumya Swaminathan (Mah) 10 bt S.V. Sathya Priya (TN) 6.5; Meenu Rajendran (Ker) 7.5 drew with Padmini Rout (Ori) 8.5; Kiran Manisha (Ori) 8 bt P. Uthra (TN) 7; S. Harini (TN) 7.5 bt Mitali Madhukar (Mah) 6.5; Sai Nirupama (AP) 6 lost to R. Preethi (TN) 7; Aparajita Gochhikar (Ori) 6 lost to Ch. Divyasri (AP) 7; P.K. Jayashree (TN) 6.5 drew with J. Saranya (TN) 6.5; N. Raghavi (TN) 6.5 drew with Ch. Savetha (TN) 6.5; Tajeswini Reddy (AP) 7 bt B. Pratyusha (AP) 6; Devangi Patankar (Mah) 6.5 bt G. Nagachandrika (AP) 5.5; R. Visalatchi (TN) 6.5 bt R. Karthikeyani (TN) 5.5; Pallavi (Bih) 6 drew with N. Hema Priya (TN) 5.5; S. Priyanka (AP) 5.5 drew with Chandana Priya Reddy (AP) 5.5; V. Sree Lakshmi (AP) 5.5 drew with Dixit Sayali (Mah) 5.5; Anjana Phalgunan (Ker) 5.5 drew with Krushna Mishra (Ori) 5.5.

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