Ramesh emerges winner

IM R.B. Ramesh, who won the Parsvanath International chess tournament in New Delhi on Friday. — Photo: R.V. Moorthy  

NEW DELHI OCT. 10. A three-way tie and plenty of exciting games provided a thrilling finale as R. B. Ramesh emerged champion, after playing truly like one, in the final round of the inaugural Parvsnath International chess tournament here.

Ramesh came first among equals after being tied with Grandmasters Alexander Fominyh of Russia and Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan also won their matches on Friday. After the players finished with nine points each, Ramesh's progressive score of 58.5 points proved decisive. Fominyh had 54.5 to Dzhumaev's 52.0. The trio received Rs. 66,700 each.

In Ramesh's career, the title was the biggest in the open category after the British crown last year. This Indian Oil officer won the Adyar Open, the National `B' and the Piloo Mody titles this summer. For the 12th seeded Ramesh, who made a 11-game Grandmaster norm here and needs to raise his Elo rating from the present 2466 to 2500 for the GM title, gained 26 points from his campaign.

Ramesh outplayed Sriram Jha in just 30 moves and ensured himself the winner's cup, before Fominyh overpowered Tahir Vakhidov and Marat capitalised on a late blunder by a previously unbeaten P. Hari Krishna .

Playing white, Ramesh gained early control of this Sicilian Rossolimo game. He won a pawn on the 20th turn and happily traded the queen for two rooks in the space of the three moves. With his bishops hopelessly placed and queen nearly out of play, Jha wisely chose to give up.

After Fominyh matched Ramesh's tally, Hari looked like joining the duo at the top. However, in the end game, when the queens returned on the board, Hari mishandled the position and lost. With all the focus on the top three boards, which featured the four overnight leaders, Neelotpal's brilliant victory over Scotland's Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson was pushed to the background. In a battle in Petroff Defence lasting 32 moves, Neelotpal kept up the pressure from the start and foiled his rival's plan of complicating matters. Rowson managed to trade his queen for a rook and two minor pieces. But Rowson's restricted pieces did not help his cause. Neelotpal, with a queen and two knights went on to nail Rowson with a precise sequence of moves.

The results (Indians unless stated):

Eleventh and final round: P. Hari Krishna (8) lost to Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb) (9); Alexander Fominyh (Rus) (9) bt Tahir Vakhidov (Uzb) (7.5); R. B. Ramesh (9) bt Sriram Jha (7.5); Jonathan Rowson (Sco) (7.5) lost to Neelotpal Das (8.5); Sergei Ovsejevitsch (Ukr) (8.5) bt R. Balasubramanium (7.5); Saidali Iuldashev (Uzb) (8.5) bt Niaz Murshed (Ban) (7.5); Surya Sekhar Ganguly (8.5) bt Atanu Lahiri (7.5); Lanka Ravi (8) drew with Poobesh Anand (8); Dmitry Svetushkin (Mol) (8) bt Abhijeet Gupta (7); Deep Sengupta (8) bt M. R. Venkatesh (7); Rahul Shetty (8) bt Neeraj Mishra (7); M. B. Muralidharan (7.5) drew with O. T. Anil Kumar (7.5); Valay Parikh (7.5) drew with Himanshu Sharma (7.5); Jayant Gokhale (7.5) drew with R. R. Laxman (7.5); Arghyadip Das (6.5) lost to Abhijeet Kunte (7.5); S. Kidambi (7.5) bt Somak Palit (6.5); Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (7) drew with P. D. S. Girinath (7); Suvrajit Saha (7.5) bt K. Ratnakaran (6.5); T. S. Ravi (7) drew with Rafiq Khan (7); Chandrashekhar Gokhale (7) drew with Amardeep Bartakke (7); B. S. Shivanandan (6.5) lost to Syed Shazuli (7.5); Vishal Sareen (7) drew with Amit Pal Singh (7); Manthan Chokshi (6.5) lost to V. Saravanan (7.5); G. Rohit (7) drew with Vedant Goswami (7); Varugeese Koshy (7.5) bt Diwakar Prasad Singh (6.5); C. Natarajan (6.5) lost to Anup Deshmukh (7.5); Aarthie Ramaswamy (7) drew with L. Imocha (7); Akshayraj Kore (7) drew with Nasir Ali (7); Jitendra Kumar Choudhary (7.5) bt Prathamesh Mokal (6); Santosh Kumar Sinha (6) lost to Koneru Humpy (7); Anupama Gokhale (6) lost to P. Konguvel (7); Soumitra Mujumdar (6) lost to K. Visweswaran (7); Puneet Jaiswal (6) lost to Gurpreet Pal Singh (7); G. B. Joshi (7) bt Amit Kumar Medda (6); D. S. Negi (6) lost to Rishi Pal Singh (7); Sayantan Dutta (6.5) drew with Saimeera Ravi (6.5); Iswarya Shobana (6) lost to Nisha Mohota (7); Abhishek Das (7) bt D. Sai Srinivas (6); S. Satyapragyan (6.5) bt Rani Hamid (Ban) (5.5); D. Pegu (6.5) bt N. Sudhakar Babu (5.5).

Final standings (with points and prize-money): 1-3. R. B. Ramesh, Alexander Fominyh (Rus) and Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb) 9 points each (Rs. 66,700 each); 4-7. Neelotpal Das, Saidali Iuldashev (Uzb), Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Sergei Ovsejevitsch (Ukr) 8.5 each (Rs. 10,500 each); 8-13. P. Hari Krishna, Dmitry Svetushkin (Mol), Lanka Ravi, Rahul Shetty, Poobesh Anand and Deep Sengupta 8 each (Rs. 2,300 each).

Other prizes: Best Woman: 1. Aarthie Ramaswamy, Nisha Mohota and Koneru Humpy 7 each (Rs. 1,700 each); Under-16: Deep Sengupta 8 points (Rs. 2500); Under-14: Abhijeet Gupta and G. Rohit 7 each (Rs. 1300); Under-12: Abhijeet Kelkar 6.5 (Rs. 2000); Under-10: Parimarjan Negi and Debashish Das 5.5 each (Rs. 1,000 each); Special Prize: Sahaj Grover (Rs. 600).