Aravindh Chitham­baram takes Na­tional crown

Sportstar - - INDIAN PLAYGROUND -

Af­ter fin­ish­ing sec­ond­best for the last two years, Aravindh Chitham­baram broke the jinx and emerged as the Na­tional chess cham­pion in Jammu re­cently.

Aravindh ended his un­beaten cam­paign with 10 points in the 13­round con­test af­ter a ner­vous 35­move draw against C. R. G. Krishna. In fact, a min­i­mum draw was what the Tamil Nadu young­ster needed to en­sure the top prize of ₹5 lakh.

Krishna fin­ished run­ner­up af­ter top­ping a three­way tie at 9.5 points. Sri­jit Paul, who stunned Vaib­hav Suri, was third while come­back­man M. R. Venkatesh came fourth af­ter scor­ing 5.5 points from the last six rounds.

Aravindh, the shy boy who lets his moves over the board do the talk­ing, ap­peared more re­lieved than happy af­ter en­sur­ing the ti­tle. “This ti­tle means a lot to me. Af­ter all, this is the only time the win­ner can say, he is the Na­tional cham­pion. Af­ter miss­ing the ti­tle so nar­rowly the last two times, when I was lead­ing al­most through­out, I re­ally wanted to win this time,” said the ONGC em­ployee.

Two late blun­ders from G. A. Stany saw Venkatesh win their game in 57 moves. As a re­sult of this sec­ond straight loss, Stany fin­ished 10th af­ter be­ing among the lead­ers af­ter 11 rounds.

RAKESH RAO

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