Asian Chess Championship: Pragyanananda, Nandhidha of India win titles

Top seed Indian Grandmaster R Pragyanandada and his compatriot PV Nandhidha won the open and women’s titles respectively at the Asian Continental Chess Tournament here on Thursday. Pragyanananda finished on top with seven points in the ninth and final round after a 63-movable draw with compatriot B Adhiban. The 17-year-old from Chennai maintained a half-point lead over the other players before the final round.

He won the title in the final round after playing a draw with the experienced Adhiban. With this victory, Pragyanananda also made it to the next FIDE World Cup. In the final round, SL Narayanan, Harsh Bharatkoti, Karthik Venkataraman and S Vokhidov had a chance to win the title in the final round but they missed the opportunity after playing their bets in a draw. Narayanan and Vokhidov’s bets ended in a draw. Harsha and Venkataraman were also forced to share points.

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Grandmaster SP Sethuraman beat international master Kostav Chatterjee in 41 moves to score the same 6.5 points as five other players. Harsh finished second with a better tiebreak score while Adhiban finished third. Narayanan, Vokhidov, Sethuraman and Venkataraman finished fourth to seventh respectively. In the women’s section, Grandmaster Nandhidha won the title with 7.5 points after playing a draw with Divya Deshmukh in the ninth round.

The Tamil Nadu player was unbeaten in nine rounds and won six games during this period. Priyanka Nutkki, Divya and Thi Kim Phung of Vietnam scored the same 6.5 points. Priyanka finished second on the basis of better tiebreak score while Divya finished third. Thi Kim finished fourth.

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