Kramnik Challenge chess: Mendonca finishes 15th; Keymer takes title

Mendonca lost two and drew one game on the final day to finish with five points from 15 rounds.

File picture of Leon Mendonca.   -  special arrangement

Leon Mendonca ended his poor campaign at 15th place in the 16-player Kramnik Challenge online rapid chess tournament on Sunday.

In the three rounds of the final day, Mendonca lost to eventual champion Germany’s Vincent Keymer, USA’s Balaji Daggupati and drew with China’s Zhu Jiner to finish with five points from 15 rounds.

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In the two previous legs of the Challengers Tour, for rising talents, R. Praggnanandhaa and D. Gukesh had emerged champions.

In a thrilling finish, Keymer overtook overnight leader Awonder Liang by inflicting a defeat in the 14th round. This meant, Keymer needed a draw in the final round to stay ahead of Awonder in case of a tie at 11.5 points.

That’s how it turned out but not before Keymer fought back twice to hold Kazakhstan’s Dinara Saduakassova and take the title. Keymer now gets to play in an event on the elite Meltwaters Champions Chess Tour.

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