Rahul Sangma, Mary Ann triumph

THE National children's rapid chess championship was conducted at the Chess India Complex recently in three age-groups — under-16, 14 and 12. The titles were claimed by Rahul Sangma, Mary Ann Gomes, K. Vijay Keerthi, H. Sowmya, S. Nitin and K.E.R. Ranjitha. The tournament was played over seven Swiss rounds and three days.

Rahul, a trainee at the famous Goodricke National Chess Academy (GNCA), Kolkata, won the boys' under-16 title after beating Andhra's P. Praveen Prasad in the final round. The second place in this section went to T. Purushothaman of Andhra, who was the surprise packet, while Kerala's G.N. Gopal was placed third.

Rahul's friend from GNCA, Mary, won the girls' under-16 title a little more comfortably. She needed only a draw in the final round from Meenu Rajendran of Kerala, which she got without much trouble. Former Asian under-14 champion J. Rajasurya of Tamil Nadu was second and P. Sivasankari, also from Tamil Nadu, third.

Karnataka lad K. Vijay Keerthi triumphed in the boys' under-14 category after drawing with team-mate M. Suraj. The title must have given some consolation for Vijay, who had come close to winning the National sub-junior title at the same venue just three days before. K.S. Srikar of Andhra and Aswin Jayaram from Tamil Nadu finished second and third respectively.

For Sowmya, it was a maiden National crown, as she came first in the girls' under-14 event. The Tamil Nadu girl drew with team-mate Gomathy in the final round to take the title. Anjana Sowjanya and S. Harini claimed the second and third places respectively.

It was a maiden National title also for K.E.R. Ranjitha, also from Tamil Nadu. In the final round she beat Maharashtra's Devangi Patankar to finish ahead of the Andhra girls, Y. Niharika and G. Madanashri, who were placed second and third respectively.

Little S. Nitin of Tamil Nadu beat team-mate B. Adhiban in the final round of the boys' under-12 event to claim his first National title. S.P. Sethuraman and N. Srinath, both from Tamil Nadu, finished second and third respectively. Delhi's Parimarjan Negi, fresh from his stunning victory at the National sub-juniors, could take only the fifth place.

The standings

Boys: Under-16: Rahul Sangma (Ben) 6 points from seven rounds, 2-3. T. Purushothaman (AP) and G.N. Gopal (Ker) 5.5, 4-5. S. Arun Prasad (TN) and K. Prasanna (TN) 5. Under-14: 1. K. Vijay Keerthi (Kar) 6, 2-5. K.S. Srikar (AP), Aswin Jayaram (TN), Debaditta Sinha Biswas (Ben) and M. Suraj (Kar) 5.5. Under-12: 1-2. S. Nitin (TN) and S.P. Sethuraman (TN) 6, 3. N. Srinath (TN) 5.5, 4-6. B. Adhiban (TN), Parimarjan Negi (Del) and P.A. Mohammed Fawaz (Ker) 5.

Girls: Under-16: 1-2. Mary Ann Gomes (Ben) and J. Rajasurya (TN) 5.5, 3. P. Sivasankari (TN) 5, 4-7. N. Raghavi (TN), M. Rajadarshini (TN), Kiran Mohanty (Ori) and G. Apurva (TN) 4.5. Under-14: 1. H. Sowmya (TN) 6, 2. Anjana Sowjanya (TN) 5.5, 3-4. S. Harini (TN) and R. Preethi (TN) 5, 5-8. K. Sruthi (Kar), G. Sirisha (AP), Dhyani Dave (Guj) and Sruthi Rathnakar (Mah) 4.5. Under-12: 1-2. K.E.R. Ranjitha and Y. Niharika (AP) 6, 3-4. G. Madanashri (AP) and Pon. N. Krithika (TN) 5.5, 5-8. C.P. Athira (Ker), V. Chaitanya (AP), Priyanka Kumari (Jha) and Pavithra Jagtap (Kar) 5.

P. K. Ajith Kumar