Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda played out a draw with overnight co-leader Miezis Normunds of Latvia to tie for the first place in the 14th Dubai International Open chess tournament that concluded on Tuesday.
Having done a lot of hard work and enjoying great luck in the victory against Parimarjan Negi in the penultimate round, Chanda played a safe positional game as black against Normunds, who was eventually happy with a draw, which was achieved in the endgame.
Ni Hua of China emerged champion with the best tie-break score after a five-way tie that also included the Georgian duo of Baadur Jobava and Mikheil Mchedlishvili. All the five players will get the major chunk of the US $50,000 that was at stake in the tournament.
Grandmaster and National champion Abhijeet Gupta played out a draw with Zaven Andriasian of Armenia to tie for the sixth spot along with M Shyam Sundar, who came up with an inspired performance to beat GM Amin Bassem of Egypt.
Besides these two seven others tied for the sixth spot, scoring an identical 6.5 points.
Chanda was the pick of the Indians and proved that their domination in the tournament, started by Abhijeet Gupta last year, is here to stay.
"I would say I was very lucky, as Parimarjan had simply outplayed me in the penultimate round and then just blundered; also against fellow-city-mate Ganguly, I was worse, but there at least I was defending," Chanda said in a post-tournament chat.
The co-winner had the worst tie-break among the five players.
Ganguly, in fact, missed out on a chance to finish at the top after he misplayed a clearly superior position and went down to top seed Jobava. Having full control and extra material in the middle game, Ganguly went haywire in the final stages as Jobava staged a miraculous escape.
Negi, who should in fact have won the tournament but for a rare blunder against Chanda, again misplayed a winning position and drew with Karen Grigoryan of Armenia.
Negi ended on six points but it is clear that the Delhi-boy is going to
break the shackles and join the 2700 rating club quite soon.
Madhurima Shekhar confirmed her Women International Master norm despite losing the final round game against Al-Qudami Basheer of Yemen while Ankit Rajpara completed the formalities of becoming the next International Master of the country, having crossed the 2400 rating barrier from here.
Important and Indian results final round (Indians unless stated): Miezis Normunds (Lat, 7) drew with Sandipan Chanda (7); Surya Shekhar Ganguly (6) lost to Baadur Jobava (Geo, 7); Mikheil Mchedlishvili (Geo, 7) beat Loek Van Wely (6); Zaven Andriasian (Arm, 6.5) drew with Abhijeet Gupta (6.5); Ni Hua (Chn, 7) beat Yuriy Kuzubov (Ukr, 6); Ivan Sokolov (Ned, 6.5) beat G N Gopal (5.5); Parimarjan Negi (6) drew with Karen Grigoryan (Arm, 6); Sahaj Grover (5.5) lost to Zhou Weiqi (Chn, 6.5); Sergey Volkov (Rus, 6.5) beat M R Lalith Babu (5.5); Amin Bassem (Egy, 5.5) lost to M Shyam Sundar (6.5); P Shyam Nikil (6) drew with Ghaem Maghami Ehsan (Iri, 6); Vladimir Baklan (Ukr, 6) beat Tania Sachdev (5); Levan Pantsulaia (Geo, 5.5) drew with N Srinath (5.5); Martyn Kravtsiv (Ukr, 5.5) drew with Ramnath Bhuvanesh (5.5); Gevorg Harutjunyan (Arm, 6) beat P V Nandhidhaa (5); Maksat Atabayev (Tkm, 6) beat S Nitin (5); N Surendran (4.5) lost to Mahjoob Morteza (Iri, 5.5); Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (Iri, 4.5) lost to Swapnil Dhopade (5.5); Akshayraj Kore (5.5) beat Ahmadinia Ebrahim (Iri, 4.5); Vishnu Prasanna (5.5) beat Semiev Suhrab (Egy, 4.5); Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (5) drew with M Karthikeyan (5); Marina Makropoulou (Gre, 5) drew with Ankit Rajpara (5); Madhurima Shekhar (4.5) lost to Al Qudaimi Basheer (Yem, 5.5); Anup Deshmukh (4) lost to Lorena Zepeda (Esp, 5); Mona Khaled (Uae, 4) lost to Sayantan Das (5); Niklesh Jain (4) lost to Kazbek Primbetov (Kaz, 5); Samir Nadir (Sud, 4.5) beat Harshal Shahi (3.5); Abdumalik Zhansaya (Kaz, 4.5) beat U Ashwini (3.5); Sasikumar Anusweud (3) lost to Mahmoud Haitham (Sud, 4); Alexey Poleschikov (Rus, 4) beat Kritik Satija (3); Ali Elmejbri (2) lost to P Ambareesh (3.5); Al-Moaamari Mozah (Uae, 2) lost to Anshuman Singh (2.5).