10-year-old Ilamparthi becomes youngest CUSAT Open champion

The fifth-seeded Ilamparthi was a clear winner, with 7.5 points from eight rounds at the all-India FIDE-rating chess tournamen in Kochi.

Chennai's 10-year-old A.R. Ilamparthi emerged as the youngest-ever winner of the CUSAT Open all-India FIDE-rated chess tournament in Kochi on Wednesday.   -  Special arrangement

When he shocked defending champion K. Senthil Maran in the penultimate round on Wednesday morning, A.R. Ilamparthi felt that he had chance to take the title.

A few hours later, the Chennai boy pulled off another upset, this time jolting former champion Ram S. Krishnan for the crown.

That made the 10-year-old Ilamparthi the youngest-ever winner of the CUSAT Open all-India FIDE-rating chess tournament at the Cochin University campus here.

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The fifth-seeded Ilamparthi was a clear winner, with 7.5 points from eight rounds, while Tamil Nadu’s top-seeded International Master A.L. Muthaiah and Kerala’s Abhinav Chakrapani, the 49 seed, took the second and third spots in the four-day tournament.

“I thought I would finish among the top three, the title was certainly a surprise. This is my first open title too,” said Ilamparthi, who started playing chess as a five-year-old. The title came with a cash prize of Rs 25,000.

Final placings (top five only):

1. A.R. Ilamparthi (TN) 7.5 pts, 2. A.L. Muthaiah (TN) 7, 3. Abhinav Chakrapani (Ker) 7, 4. B. Selvamurugan (TN) 6.5, 5. Ram S. Krishnan (BSNL) 6.5.

Select results (round 8):

Ilamparthi bt Ram S. Krishnan, A.L. Muthaiah bt E.M. Akhilan, Madhavan R. Munjattu drew with B. Selvamurugan, D.V. Ananthapadmanabh drew with K.R. Madhusoodanan, B. Manoj lost to Abhinav C. Santhalayan.

Seventh round:

Ram Krishnan bt A.L. Muthaiah, K. Senthil Maran lost to Ilamparthi, Akhilan bt S.S. Manigandan, B. Selvamurugan bt O.T. Anilkumar, K.R. Madhusoodanan bt B.M. Gabriel.