Precisely a week before turning 23, Aravindh Chithambaram emerged as the champion of the Dubai Open chess tournament after a final-round draw with sparring partner R. Praggnanandhaa in Dubai on Sunday.
Less than 24 hours after stunning second seed Arjun Erigaisi and taking sole lead, 13th seed Aravindh signed peace with fourth seed Praggnanandhaa in 38 moves to take the title with 7.5 points from nine rounds.
The two-time former National champion received $13,000 and a trophy after topping a formidable field that saw seven Indians among the top-10 finishers.
Top seeded Russian Alexandr Predke was runner-up after a five-way tie for the second spot at seven points. PPPPcraggnanandhaa, Abhijeet Gupta, Sammed Shete and S. P. Sethuraman followed in that order.
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Arjun, whose ploy of trading his queen for a rook and a bishop by the 17th move backfired against Aravindh eventually resulted in a 45-move defeat on Saturday evening, took the seventh spot following an eight-way tie.