Amid mounting tension, P. Karthikeyan held his nerve to nail former National champion G. Akash and became the Commonwealth chess champion here on Tuesday.
In a nail-biting finish, Karthikeyan raised his tally to 7.5 points to nose ahead of a five-player pack at seven points.
With the top-board battle between the other two overnight leaders — former champion M.R. Lalit Babu and Debashis Das — ending in a 37-move draw, Karthikeyan’s 49-move triumph over Akash cleared the way for his coronation.
Second seed Vaibhav Suri won against V. Karthik to finish runner-up. Das finished third owing to his superior tie-break score, ahead of Lalit, Deep Sengupta and Deepan Chakkravrthy.
The ladies title went to Tania Sachdev after the two overnight leaders — Nisha Mohota and P.V. Nandhidhaa — lost on this day. Tania, pitted against unheralded Shantanu Bhambure won as expected to reach six points.
M. Mahalakshmi and Kiran Manisha Mohanty also won to match Tania’s tally but finished in that order due to inferior tie-break count.
Leading results: Ninth round: M.R. Lalit Babu (7) drew with Debashis Das (7); G. Akash (6.5) lost to P. Karthikeyan (7.5); Deep Sengupta (7) bt Vishnu Prasanna (6); V. Karthik (6) lost to Vaibhav Suri (7); Deepan Chakkravarthy (7) bt N. R. Visakh (6); S. Nitin (6.5) drew with Abhijit Kunte (6.5); Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh (6) drew with S. Kidambi (6.5); R. R. Laxman ((6.5) bt P. V. Nandhidhaa (5.5); Nisha Mohota (5.5) lost to K. Ratnakaran (6.5); Shantanu Bhambure (5) lost to Tania Sachdev (6); M. Mahalakshmi (6) bt Arpita Mukherjee (5); Aaryan Varshney (5) lost to Kiran Manisha Mohanty (6).
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