Vaibhav wins Biel Masters chess title

Seeded 19th in a field that attracted 26 Grandmasters and participants from 31 countries, Suri won five games and drew the rest to tally seven points

A file photo of Vaibhav Suri (right). Suri won the title with 7 points.

Grandmaster Vaibhav Suri won the Biel Masters chess title with an unbeaten display and teenager Prtihu Gupta made his second Grandmaster-norm in the premier nine-round competition.

Seeded 19th in a field that attracted 26 Grandmasters and participants from 31 countries, Suri won five games and drew the rest to tally seven points. Germany’s Dennis Wagner topped an eight-way tie for the second spot at 6.5 points. Top seed Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine) took the third spot.

Prithu gave the 21-member Indian contingent another reason to rejoice when he attained his second GM-norm of the year. Seeded a distant 36th, Prithu tallied six points to take the 11th spot. Rated 2436, Prithu performed at a whopping 2620 and completed his second norm.

In the process, Prithu upset fifth seeded Russian GM Evegeny Romanov, Israeli GM Dan Zoler besides drawing with Suri, second seed Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli and two other higher-ranked GMs. Prithu’s lone loss came against compatriot Aravindh Chithambaram, seeded 11th, in the sixth round.

Final standings of the leading Indians: 1. Vaibhav Suri (7 points), 8. M. R. Lalit Babu (6.5), 11. Prithu Gupta (6), 12. Arjun Kalyan (6), 15. M. Karthikeyan (6), 21. Tania Sachdev (5.5), 23. Arjun Erigaisi (5.5), 32. Aryan  Chopra (5), 34. Aravindh Chithambaram (5).