Aravindh Chithambaram came up with yet another clinical finish to end the resistance of Levan Pantsulaia for the Delhi International Open chess title here on Thursday.
In a battle lasting 38 moves, Aravindh punished his rival for his poor choice of rook-move on the 28th turn by launching a fierce attack on the black’s castled king. After a series of exchanges, Aravindh emerged with an extra knight before the Georgian gave up.
Aravindh, who aggregated a massive 9.5 points from 10 rounds, collected Rs. 6 lahks and the winner’s trophy from an event that offered Rs. 45 lahks in prize money. Georgia’s Luka Paichadze took the second spot with nine points and gained Rs. 5 lahks.
Top seed S. P. Sethuraman, whose campaign stumbled in the fifth and sixth rounds, won his fourth game in succession to top a six-way tie for third place at 8.5 points.
A surprise Indian in the top 10 was 11-year-old Ethan Vaz. This talented boy, among those tied at 8.5 points, remained unbeaten on way to the sixth spot. He won seven games and his last-round victim was Grandmaster G. A. Stany.
It was indeed an incredible showing from the Goan-lad. Ethan, rated 1949, performed way above this starting rank of 66 among the participants to perform at 2114-level. In the process, he ensured a whopping 104 rating points besides Rs. one lakh as prize money.
Aravindh was clearly the best player on view. After brushing aside four untitled rivals, the second seed defeated International Master S. Nitin and GM Kirill Stupak to stretch his winning run to six rounds. A draw with Neelash Saha followed before Aravindh returned to the winning ways by nailing the GM trio of Marat Dzhumaev, Volodar Murzin and Pantsulaia. This performance was worth 15 rating points for Aravindh, rated 2607.
RESULTS (Indians unless stated):
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