Eesha Karavade became India's eighth Woman Grandmaster after settling for an easy draw with Adel Omearat of Syria in the ninth and final round in the seventh Dubai International Chess championship on Wednesday.
The 17-year old Eesha completed a rating performance of 2433 points, quite above the 2401 mark that is required for the WGM title.
More good news for the huge Indian contingent followed in the last round, as 12-year-old Parimarjan Negi got his second IM norm following a draw with International Master Jayson Gonzales of Philippines in his final game.
Meanwhile, Wang Hao of China played an impressive game against Georgi Kacheishvili of Georgia to annex the title and the first prize of US $5000. The Chinese teenager came good in the final round game with blacks and also earned his GM norm in the process.
Interestingly enough, Hao is not even an International Master yet and this performance comes in front of a brigade of GMs including bigwigs like Alexander Motylev of Russia and Kiril Georgiev of Bulgaria.
As many as 10 players tied for the second spot and Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia finished second thanks to his best performance rating.
Viorel Iordachescu (Mda), Gadir Guseinov (Azerbaijan), Zhang Zhong (China), Evgenij Miroshnichenko (Ukraine), Zhang Pengxiang (China), Bu Xiangzhi (China), Ashot Anastasian (Armenia), Zahar Efimenko (Ukraine) and Solak Dragan (Serbia) were the other finishers amongst top prizes.
Amongst the Indians in the fray, GMs Abhijit Kunte, R B Ramesh and Humpy were the pick of the lot, scoring 5.5 points apiece.
But it was Eesha's day. She followed in the footsteps of WGMs S Vijayalakshmi, Aarthie Ramaswamy, Koneru Humpy, Nisha Mohota, Swati Ghate, D Harika and S Meenakshi.
Among the lot, Humpy has already become a Grandmaster while S Vijayalakshmi achieved the International Master title.
"The beginning was good for me but after I lost three in a row, I had to pull myself up and the final flurry gave me the norm I was seeking," Eesha said, adding, "I have set my eyes on the IM title and the WGM title will give me the momentum and hopefully the invitations to play in stronger events."
ONGC-sponsored Negi had bagged his first IM norm in 2003 at the Bad-Wissen tournament in Germany and now needs just one more to become an IM. For the record, Negi scored five points.
"I am feeling great, especially as I had missed it by half a point last year in Dubai. I am hoping that soon I will make my IM title and my next target is the GM norm," Negi said.
Grandmaster Evgeny Vladimirov, who was working with Negi prior to this event was also pleased with the performance of his prodigy.
"I expected this from Parimajan here and he should now set his sights on the GM title," Vladimirov said.
Abhijeet Gupta, who had confirmed him IM title in the penultimate round itself, lost his final round game against highly rated Sergey Volkov of Russia.
G Rohit was a little unlucky in not meeting a titled player in the final round even though he also completed his IM norm.
The last round victory over S P Sethuraman brought Rohit to 5 points and he will now have to apply to FIDE for some consideration of his norm as he played only four title-holders when he had to meet five in the event.
Important results, final round (Indians unless specified):
Bu Xiangzhi (Chn, 6.5) drew with Zhang Pengxiang (Chn, 6.5); Zhang Zhong (Chn, 6.5) drew with Evgenij Miroshnichenko (Ukr, 6.5); Ashot Anastasian (Arm, 6.5) drew with Viorel Iordachescu )Mda, 6.5); Georgi Kacheishvili (Geo, 6) lost to Wang Hao (Chn, 7); Kiril Georgiev (Bul, 6) drew with Merab Gagun ashvili (Geo, 6.5); Alexander Areshchenko (Ukr, 6) drew with Alexander Motylev (Rus, 6); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 6) drew with Pavel Kotsur (Kaz, 6); Evgeny Vladimirov (Kaz, 6) drew with Wang Yue (Chn, 6); Alexander Riazantsev (Rus, 5) lost to Mikheil Mchedlishvili (Geo, 6); Stefan Djuric (Scg, 6) beat Tamaz Gelashvili (Geo, 5); Al-Modiahki Mohamad (Qat, 6) beat Rauf Mamedov (Aze, 5); Valeriy Neverov (Ukr, 6) beat Zhao Xue (Chn, 5); Abhijit Kunte (5.5) drew with R B Ramesh (5.5); Vladimir Burmakin (Rus, 6) beat Wang Yu (Chn, 5); Sergey Volkov (Rus, 5.5) beat Abhijeet Gupta (5); Faruk Bistric (Bih, 5.5) beat Sandipan Chanda (4.5); Lanka Ravi (4.5) lost to Koneru Humpy (5.5); Sergey Kayumov (Uzb, 5.5) beat Sundararajan Kidambi (4.5); Parimarjan Negi (5) drew with Jayson Gonzales (Phi, 5); Shashikant Kutwal (4) lost to Wu Wenjin (5); Dmitry Svetushkin (Mda, 4) lost to Rahul Shetty (5); Sale Srdjan (Cro, 4) lost to G Balaji (5); Huang Qian (Chn, 5) beat S Mari Arul (4); Adel Omearat (Syr, 4.5) drew with Eesha Karavade (4.5); S P Sethuraman (4) lost to G Rohit (5); Kruttika Nadig (4) drew with Oleg Boricsev (4); D Sai Srinivas (4.5) beat Afag Khudaverdieva (Aze, 3.5); Omkar Patwardhan ( 4.5) w/o Faisal Khairallah (Lib, 3.5); C N Vaidya (4.5) beat Saad Belouadah (Alg, 3.5); Aswin Jayaram (3.5) lot to Moh Bengafer (Lba, 4.5); Saleh Nabil (Uae, 4) drew with N Srinath (4).