National Junior C’ship: Karthik Venkataraman, Sakshi Chitlange win titles

Karthik Venkataraman defeats R. K. Srihari in 41 moves; Sakshi Chitlange beats K. Priyanka.

Karthik Venkataraman (left) and Sakshi Chitlange with their trophies. Photo: Rakesh Rao

In an exciting finish, top seeded Grandmaster Karthik Venkataraman (Andhra) and third seed Sakshi Chitlange (Maharashtra) won the National junior (Under-19) titles here on Thursday.

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Karthik, one among the five overnight leaders, defeated Karnataka’s R. K. Srihari in 41 moves to reach nine points from 11 rounds. In the two games involving other 10th-round leaders, Rakesh Kumar Jena, the eventual silver medallist, drew with Sammed Shete in 57 moves and Suyog Wagh did likewise with bronze-medalist Nitish Belurkar in 48 moves. Sakshi (nine points), the reigning Asian Junior silver medallist, took the title by beating K. Priyanka in 37 moves.

Overnight leader Aakanksha Hagawane (8.5), who started with a half-point lead, lost her top-board battle to C. H. Meghna in 64 moves. Local favourite Vantika Agarwal took the third spot.

Leading results (11th round)
  • Open: Rakesh Kumar Jena (Odi, 8.5) drew with Sammed Shete (Mah, 8.5); Suyog Wagh (Mah, 8.5) drew with Nitish Belurkar (Goa, 8.5); R. K. Srihari (Kar, 7.5) lost to Karthik Venkataraman (AP, 9); Sambit Panda (Odi, 7.5) lost to Rajdeep Sarkar (Ben, 8.5); Anuj Shrivatri (MP, 8) drew with Saurabh Anand (Bih, 8); Ritviz Parab (Goa, 7.5) lost to Aronyak Ghosh (Ben, 8.5); V. Pranav (TN, 8.5) bt Aaryan Varshney (Del, 7.5).
  • Girls: Aakanksha Hagawane (Mah, 8.5) lost to C. H. Meghna (Ker, 8.5); K. Priyanka (7.5) lost to Sakshi Chitlange (Mah, 9); Vantika Agarwal (Del, 8.5) bt Arpita Mukherjee (Ben, 7.5); Aashna Makhija (Mah, 8) bt L. Jyothsna (TN, 7.5); N. Priyanka (AP, 8) bt Srishti Pandey (Mah, 7).

Medallists
  • Open: 1. Karthik Venkataraman, 2. Rakesh Kumar Jena, 3. Nitish Belurkar.
  • Girls: 1. Sakshi Chitlange, 2. Aakanksha Hagawane, 3. Vantika Agarwal.