Second seeded Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta went down fighting to Sipke Ernst of Holland while Dejan Bojkov of Bulgaria annexed the crown in the Groningen International open chess tournament which concluded in Groningen (The Netherlands), on Friday.
For the second tournament in a row, Abhijeet was unable to withstand the last-round-tension and lost from a better position. A couple of weeks ago, during the London Classic too, the Indian lost the final game and missed out on a chance to be amongst top winners.
Shiven Khosla got the draw he was looking for against Jan Werle of Holland and completed his third and final International Master norm.
However, following the withdrawal of his penultimate round opponent GM Oleg Romanishin of Ukraine and the re-pairing with one of the lowest placed players, the matter will be recommended to FIDE, the world chess federation, for consideration by the organisers.
According to arbiters, FIDE may agree to the norm as Shiven played quite well throughout and deserved it every bit. For the record, the Indian finished with five points, with a performance rating of 2467 points, way above his current rating of 2354.
International Master Sahaj Grover yet again showcased his opening preparation to get an easy draw as black against GM Peter Prohaszka of Hungary while in the other game involving Indian, Ashwin Jayaram did well to hold Friso Nijboer of Holland.
Sahaj and Abhijeet finished tied seventh scoring 5.5 points each. Of the two, 15-year old Sahaj will also gain some rating points which will take him past the 2460 mark for his career best rating.
It was a six-way tie at the top of the table with Bojkov having the best tie-break. Last year's winner Illya Nyzhnyk completed his third and final Grandmaster norm and became one of the youngest Grandmasters in the world currently.
The Ukrainian prodigy had made his second norm last year in the same tournament and it was another fine performance from that yielded the shared-first place along with the GM title.
Mark Bluvshtein of Canada and local trio of Daan Brandenburg, Sipke Ernst and Robin Van Kampen were the other players who all scored 6.5 points and finished at the top.
Amongst these, Brandenburg and Kampen made their Grandmaster norms.
Abhijeet faced the queen's gambit declined and went for his pet Catalan against Ernst who played black. Seizing firm control in the centre, Abhijeet enjoyed a much better position in the middle game but let it slip as the game progressed.
Ernst fought well to give a rook for a Bishop and then his knights created havoc to get the full point.
Results (final round): (Indians unless specified): Dejan Bojkov (Bul, 6.5) drew with Mark Bluvshtein (Can, 6.5); Illya Nyzhnyk (Ukr, 6.5) drew with Daan Brandenburg (Ned, 6.5); Abhijeet Gupta (5.5) lost to Sipke Ernst (Ned, 6.5); Robin Van Kampen (Ned, 6.5) beat Zaven Andriasian (Arm, 5.5); Arkadij Rotstein (Ger, 5.5) drew with Chiel Van Oosterom (Ned, 5.5); Peter Prohaszka (Hun, 5.5) drew with Sahaj Grover (5.5); Daniel Naroditsky (Usa, 5.5) drew with Benjamin Bok (Ned,
5.5); Vladimir Baklan (Ukr, 5.5) beat Migchiel De Jong (Ned, 4.5); Ashwin Jayaram (5) drew with Friso Nijboer (Ned, 5); Shiven Khosla (5) drew with Jan Werle (5).