Rajesh triumphs

An excruciatingly long wait for a second National title ended for V. A. V. Rajesh on the vast campus of the Calicut University on the afternoon of October 8. The B.Sc (Computer Science) student from Loyola College, Chennai, required just a draw to win the National youth chess championship in the final round and he held out third-seed P. Saravan Krishnan without breaking a sweat. The draw took his tally to eight points from nine rounds.

He had triumphed at the National under-11 championship in New Delhi way back in 2004 and was delighted to add another title.

“It is great to win a National championship after such a long time,” said the 18-year-old. “To win it without losing a single game also makes me happy.”

Rajesh posted seven wins and drew two to justify his top billing. Second-seeded Ramnath Bhuvanesh was always going to be his closest rival and when the action began on the final day, Bhuvanesh was trailing Rajesh by half-a-point and needed to win to entertain any hopes of the title. But he could only draw his game with Himal Gusain.

“When I saw Bhuvanesh drawing his game, I took it easy and accepted the offer of draw from Saravana,” says Rajesh. “Besides, the position was fairly equal when we decided to split the point.”

The standings: 1. V. A. V. Rajesh 8/9; 2. Ramnath Bhuvanesh 7; 3-4. P. Saravana Krishnan & S. Kannan 6.5; 5-9. V. Varun, Padhya Saumil, K. Arjun, Parab Ritviz & Himal Gusain 6; 10-12. A. Abhishek, Arjun Satheesh & P. Elancheralathan 5.5.