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Rediff.com  » Sports » London Classic: Gupta, Grover shine on a good day for Indians

London Classic: Gupta, Grover shine on a good day for Indians

December 12, 2011 10:22 IST

Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta won the London Chess Classic's open section with a hard-earned win over GM Keith Arkell of England while International Master Sahaj Grover pulled himself to the second spot after the final round of the event concluded in London.

Abhijeet, a former world junior champion and reigning national champion, scored eight points in total and will be past the coveted 2650 ELO rating mark in the next rating list while Sahaj, continued his progress in a big way to be well clear of the 2500 ELO mark which is necessary to become a Grandmaster.

Sahaj defeated English GM Peter Wells in the final round.

India's dominance in the open section continued as Abhijeet won his seventh game in the event apart from two draws conceded earlier.

While a draw was sufficient for the BPCL employee to get to joint first, he did one better to claim the championship uncontested with his reflex-action play in the final round against Arkell.

Sahaj yet again missed the final GM norm as he had not played enough GMs. But the 16-year old won many a hearts with his swashbuckling play and looks set to be amongst the new crop of Indian stalwarts that include Parimarjan Negi. Sahaj scored 7.5 points in all, a half less than Abhijeet.

"I came here last year and had mediocre results, but of late I have been playing better and this win here will probably help me a lot for tough future events like Gibraltar and Aeroflot open," said Abhijeet after a nerve-wracking final game against Arkell.

Sahaj made it an all Indian affair after a lucky victory over Wells.

"I had much better position out of the opening and he used too much time to complicate matters. It was a pretty crazy game but somehow I was able to pull through," said the former under-10 world champion and the reigning World junior bronze medallist.

Apart from the top two finishers, IM Arghyadip Das also had a good day as he beat in-form Jovanka Houska of England to finish joint third.

Indian players took home honours in the junior section. Mohammad Ashraf, P V Nandhidhaa and under-12 world champion Murali Karthikeyan shared the honours in the junior category.

Siddharth Gopakumar and N Surendran also did well for themselves in the unrated and rating categories by bagging a prize while Shweya Gole also achieved a podium finish in her category.

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