Gilbraltar Masters: Aronian wins title

Top-10 finish for Abhijeet Gupta and Debashis Das.

Levon Aronian (in picture) beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the final.   -  Special Arrangement (File Photo)

Abhijeet Gupta and Debashis Das gate-crashed into the top-10 bracket before top seed Levon Aronian won the title following a four-player playoff in the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters chess tournament here on Thursday.

In the 10th and final round, Abhijeet drew with ninth seed Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland) while Debashis, the 81st-ranked player on the starting list, signed off his unbeaten campaign with an impressive victory over compatriot Sandipan Chanda. Abhijeet and Debashis finished at seven points and occupied the ninth and 10th spots.

Read: Gupta stuns Ivanchuk

Following a seven-way tie for the title at 7.5 points, the top four players were involved in a knockout tie-breaker. Eventually, Aronian beat second seed Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the final. In the semifinals, Aronian overcame Richard Rapport and Vachier-Lagrave knocked out defending champion Hikaru Nakamura.

Important 10th round results (involving Indians)
  • Abhijeet Gupta (7) drew with Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Pol, 7); S. P. Sethuraman (7) bt Ponsa Federico Perez (Arg, 6); Nihal Sarin (6.5) drew with Rasmus Svane (Ger, 6.5); Debashis Das (7) bt Sandipan Chanda (6); Pavel Tregubov (Rus, 6.5) drew with Swapnil Dhopade (6.5); S. L. Narayanan (7) bt Valentina Gunina (Rus, 6); Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr, 5.5) lost to P. Hari Krishna (6.5); Marin Bosiocic (Cro, 6.5) bt Shardul Gagare (5.5); Benjamin Gledura (Hun, 6.5) bt R. Praggnanandhaa (5.5); G. N. Gopal (6.5) bt Gomez Julio Suarez (Esp, 5.5); Sergey Grigoriants (Rus, 5.5) lost to Prasanna Rao (6.5); Alexandra Kostenuik (Rus, 5.5) lost to M. R. Venkatesh (6.5); Grigory Kaidanov (USA, 6.5) bt Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh (5.5); Prithu Gupta (5.5) lost to M. R. Lalith Babu.
  • Final standings (after tie-break games): 1. Levon Aronian (Arm), 2. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra), 3-4. Hikaru Nakamura (USA) Richard Rapport (Hun), 5-7. Nikita Vitiugov (Rus), Michael Adams (Eng) and Le Quang Liem (Vie) – 7.5 points each.
  • Leading Indians’ standings: 9-10. Abhijeet Gupta, Debashis Das; 16. S. P. Sethuraman, 23. S. L. Narayanan (7 each); 33. M. R. Venkatesh, 36. M. R. Lalith Babu, 39. P. Hari Krishna, 42. Swapnil Dhopade, 44-46. Prasanna Rao, G. N. Gopal and Nihal Sarin (6.5 each).

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