Pantsulaia wins Chennai Open chess

GM Levan Pantsulaia (Georgia), with 8.5 points, emerged the champion after the tenth and final round in the Chennai Open chess tournament.

GM Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia after winning the Chennai Open chess tournament.   -  Special Arrangement

GM Levan Pantsulaia (Georgia), with 8.5 points, emerged the champion after the tenth and final round in the Chennai Open International Grand Master (GM) chess tournament for the Sakthi Group Dr.N. Mahalingam trophy at the Novotel IBIS OMR hotel in Sholinganallur on Friday.

In the crucial final round, Pantsulaia drew with top seed GM Alexandr Predke (Russia). This follows Pantsulaia's title triumph in the Delhi Open last fortnight, giving him back-to-back titles, a great start for 2019. The Georgian would take home the winner's cheque of Rs. 3,00,000 (Three lakh rupees only) along with the trophy.

Five Grandmasters shared the second spot with 8 points - Ivan Popov (Russia), Aleksej Aleksandrov (Belarus), Luka Paichadze (Georgia), Susanto Megaranto (Indonesia) and Ivan Rozum (Russia).

The trophies and cash prizes were presented by the chief guest International Master Manuel Aaron. Also present were D.V. Sundar, Vice President, FIDE, P. Stephen Balasamy, Gen. Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, International arbiter R. Anantharam and Chief arbiter M. Manjunatha M.

Final Placings: 1. Levan Pantsulaia (Geo) 8.5; 2. Ivan Popov (Rus); 3. Aleksej Aleksandrov (Belarus); 4. Luka Paichadze (Geo); 5. Susanto Megaranto (Indonesia); 6. Ivan Rozum (Russia), all 8 points.

The results (round ten, Indians unless specified): Levan Pantsulaia (Geo) 8.5 drew with Alexandr Predke (Rus) 7.5; Ivan Popov (Rus) 8 bt Maxim Lugovskoy (Rus) 7.5; Ivan Rozum (Rus) 8 bt Andrei Deviatkin (Rus) 7; Luka Paichadze (Geo) 8 bt Padmini Rout 7; Aleksej Aleksandro (Blr) 8 bt Van Huy Nguyen (Vie) 7; Susanto Megaranto (Ina) 8 bt M. Pranesh 7; N.R. Vignesh 7.5 drew wih Karthik Venkataraman 7.5; Utkal Ranjan Sahoo (6.5) lost to Tuan Minh Tran (Vie) 7.5.