India's youngest International Master-norm holder Parimarjan Negi of Delhi clinched an all-important victory against overnight sole leader K Vijay Keerthi in the crucial ninth and final round to claim the boys' title in the National Sub-junior chess championship in Kozhikode on Wednesday.
The 11-year-old Negi effectively employed Sicilian defence against Keerthi of Karnataka to improve from an equal position on the ninth move. He secured the advantage from the 33rd after moving forward his two pawns, thereby forcing his opponent, who only needed a draw to settle the issue, to resign on the 51st move.
Saheli, who made sure of the title in the penultimate round itself by virtue of her better progressive score, went on to prove her class by engaging Modern defence against P Lakshmi Sahiti (Andhra Pradesh) to record a convincing victory in 56 moves.
While Keerthi, Rahul Sangma and Mary Ann Gomes (both GNCA) took the second, third and fourth positions respectively in boys, top seed Soumya Swaminthan (VCA), Ramyakrishna (AP) and M Rajadarshini (ECA) took similar spots among girls.
Top seed in the boys' section, G N Gopal disappointed the hosts by finishing a poor 12th in the final standings.
Negi and Saheli became richer by Rs 9,300 and Rs 9,200 respectively while Keerthi and Rahul, in the boys section, and Soumya and Ramyakrishna, in the girls', walked away with Rs 6,000 and Rs 5,000 each.
Important results (Ninth and final round):
Boys: K Vijay Keerthi (Kar) 7.5 lost to Parimarjan Negi (Del) 8; Soumitra B Mujumdar (Mah) 7 drew with D Saisrinivas (CCA) 7; Aswin Jayaram (TN) 6 lost to Rahul Sangma (GNCA) 7; Mary Ann Gomes (GNCA) 7 bt R A Pradeep Kumar (TN) 6; Y Sandeep (AP) 6 lost to R Premnath (CHRM) 7; K Udeshi Aditya (Mah) 7 bt Gupte Meghan (Mah) 5.5; G N Gopal (Ker) 6.5 bt S Nitin (GLDN) 5.5; T Abhay (TN) 6 drew with K Narayanan (TN) 6; A Kamparia (MP) 6 drew with Debaditta Sinha Biswas (WB) 6; S P Sethurama (TN) 5.5 lost to B Adhiban (MCA) 6.5; Ved Prakash Sinha (Bih) 6.5 bt A Tejdeep (AP) 5.5; Avi Bagdi (MP) 6.5 bt K Priyadarsha (MCA) 5.5; Soumya Thakurta (WB) 5.5 lost to Suman Basu (GNCA) 6.5; Sandipan Chatterjee (GNCA) 5.5 lost to V Somesh (AP) 6.5; K S Srikar (CCA) 5.5 drew with G S Sreejith (Ker) 5.5.
Girls: P Lakshmi Sahiti (AP) 6.5 lost to Saheli Nath (WB) 8.5; P Sivasankari (TN) 6.5 drew with Soumya Swaminathan (VCA) 7; M Rajadarshini (ECA) 6.5 drew with Bhakti P Kulkarni (Goa) 6.5; Kiran Monisha Mohanty (Ori) 6.5 drew with Dhyani B Dave (Guj) 6.5; Ramyakrishna (AP) 7 bt Ketaki S Kulkarni (Mah) 6; J Rajasurya (TN) 6.5 drew with R K Shruke (MCA) 6; Anjanaa N Sawjanya (TN) 5.5 lost to R Preethi (KCA) 6.5; L Praneetha (AP) 6.5 bt H P Pallavi Maiya (Kar) 5.5; S V Sathya Priya (GLDN) 5 lost to N Raghavi (TN) 6; S Harini (Capa) 6 bt Saba A Mhate (Mah) 5; P K Jayashree (TN) 6 bt V K Sindhu (TN) 5; M S Nandin (BCA) 5.5 drew with Gomathy (Capa) 5.5; K Sruthi (NLND) 5 lost to P Uthra (KCA) 6; Meenu Rajendran (Ker) 6 bt R Aparna (Ker) 4.5; Mitali M Patil (Mah) 6 bt N Jananipriya (BCA) 4.5.