Top seed Vidit Gujrathi drew with fellow Grandmaster Sahaj Grover and topped an 11-player tie to win the National Challengers chess championship at Dharamshala on Monday.
In the 13th and final round, when four leading boards produced drawn encounters, second seed S.P. Sethuraman, third seed M.R. Lalith Babu and International Master V.A.V. Rajesh scored timely victories to be among the nine qualifiers for this year’s National Championship.
The top 11 players finished at 9.5 points.
The results: Final round (Top-10): Vidit Gujrathi (9.5) drew with Sahaj Grover (9.5); Deep Sengupta (9.5) drew with P. Shyamnikhil (9.5); Deepan Chakkravarthy (9.5) drew with P.D.S. Girinath (9.5); Swayams Mishra (9.5) drew with Abhijit Kunte (9.5); S.P. Sethuraman (9.5) bt S.L. Narayanan (8.5); Sayantan Das (8.5) lost to M.R. Lalith Babu (9.5); Vishnu Prasanna (8.5) lost to V.A.V. Rajesh (9.5); B.T. Murali Krishnan (9) drew with R.R. Laxman (9); Shyam Sundar (9) bt Ravi Teja (8); M. Karthikeyan (8.5) drew with Rahul Sangma (8.5); Pratik Patil (8.5) drew with Swapnil Dhopade (8.5); P. Lokesh (8) lost to Anurag Mhamal (9); P. Karthikeyan (9) bt Prince Bajaj (8).
Final Standings (Top-11): 1-11. Vidit, Sahaj, Shyamnikhil, Deep, Sethuraman, Mishra, Rajesh, Lalith, Deepan, Kunte and Girinath. — Special Correspondent