India’s 14-year old Grand Master Nihal Sarin won the blitz event in the Asian Continental Chess Championship at Xingtai, China on Saturday.
Sarin scored eight points from nine rounds and finished a point ahead of the field. He had recently crossed 2600 Elo points on the FIDE rating list and became the third youngest to achieve the feat .
Fellow Indian Srinath Narayanan took the third spot, seven points shy of second-placed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam.
Meanwhile, four Indians qualified for the World Cup to be held in Russia later this year with impressive performances in the open section.
India’s Karthikeyan Murali (6.5 points) finished second in the open event behind Liem (7 points). Along with Karthikeyan, S. P. Sethuraman (6.5 points), Srinath Narayanan (6.5 pts, 4th) and Abhijeet Gupta (6 pts, 7th) qualified for the world cup.
Sarin, however, tied for sixth place and finished 11th after a tie-break in the open event and failed to qualify for the World Cup.
In the women’s section, WGM R. Vaishali secured the best finish among the Indians, settling for fifth spot with six points from nine rounds. Kazaksthan’s Dinara Saduakassova won the top prize with 7.5 points.
Srinath, who won a bronze in the blitz event, said he was delighted with his performance and rated the win over Firouzja Alireza (Iran) in the final round as his best.
“I am delighted with the bronze. The win over Alireza in the final round was my best,” he said.
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