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Srinath earns India second gold

July 29, 2005 17:43 IST

Sahaj Grover created history by winning the gold medal in the under-10 section of the World Youth Chess Championships that concluded in Belfort, France, on Friday.

N Srinath got a bit lucky on the final day and also struck gold in the Under-12 section after losing his last round game against So Wesley.

It so happened that the nearest contender to Srinath, second seed Sjugirov Sanan, did not succeed in beating Ray Robson in his final round despite trying for more than four hours. In the end, Sanan had to settle for a draw, giving the Indian his first gold medal in a World Championship ahead of quite a few young stars of the world.

Sahaj drew his 11th and final game with Jakhongir Vakhidov of Uzebekistan and moved to nine points along with Ivan Bushkavin of Russia and was declared the winner thanks to a superior tie-break score.

Along with the gold and glory, Sahaj also became the youngest ever Indian to win any World Championship, breaking the 1996 record set by current World junior champion Pendyala Harikrishna.

Srinath and Sahaj were the only two medal winners in the Indian contingent and the biggest upset from the Indian perspective was the failure of Women Grandmaster D Harika in the Under-16 girls' section, where she finished fifth, and candidate International Master Parimarjan Negi in the Under-12 boys', who finished ninth overall.

Both Negi and Harika had started as the top seeded players of their respective sections.

On hearing about Sahaj's feat, Harikrishna, currently in India, was all praise for him and Srinath.

"When I won the Under-10 gold about a decade back, I never knew that it was a record; I wish both the gold medallists greater success in life and many more tournament victories," Harikrishna said.

Speaking about his own success in the tournament, Sahaj was obviously delighted.

"I played well till the seventh round and then I lost one game in ninth; thankfully I remained in lead right from day one till it finished."

Sahaj's trainer former national junior champion Gurpreet Pal Singh was also all praise for his young protege.

"I think what Sahaj has got today without much support is exemplary in competitive chess these days. The boy is very hardworking and we had been expecting some good results for the past one year.

"Just prior to coming here he was the best in the under-10 section of the Dubai International Junior championship. That naturally gave him great confidence and the real result is here," Singh said, adding "now the road ahead is tougher as good results bring in more and more expectations. I hope he will be noted at least now and some good support from sponsors will come forth for him to further his chess career," Singh said on a serious note.

Indian results final round:


Under-10: Jokhangir Vakhidov (8) drew with Sahaj Grover (9); Shiven Khosla (8) beat Konstantin Nikologrosky (7); Lucan van Beuzekom (5) lost to K. Harsh (5.5); Rishi Thariani (5) lost to Thomas Kaminski (6); Vasanta Varman (4) lost to Sheldon Jurrius; Luuc Francis (2.5) lost to Sudharshan Surya (4); Suboth Shirodkar (2.5) lost to Robert White (4).

Under-12: N. Srinath (8.5) lost to So Wesley (8.5); Samel Tel Sahakyan (8.5) beat S.P. Sethuraman (7.5); Zbingniew Strzemiecki (8) veat V.A.V. Rajesh (7.5); Angel Arribas Lopez (7) lost to Parimarjan Negi (8); Burak Firat (6.5) drew with Prasanna Rao (6.5); Hari Hara Sudhan (5) beat Deigo-Andre Placious Aguilar (4).

Under-14: Wei Chenpeng (8) beat Y. Sandeep (7.5); Nikhil Shyam (7.5) beat Povilas Tvarijonas (6.5); T Marc Arnold (6.5) beat Sankalp Modwal (6); Lu David (3.5) beat T. Pranav (1).

Under-16: Ian Nepomniachtchhi (8.5) beat G. Rohith (7.5); D. Sai Srinivas (6) lost to Andres Gallego (7); K. Vijay Keerthi (6) drew with Javier Vila Gasquez (6).

Under-18: Amin Bassem (7.5) beat Deep Sengupta (6.5); Martin betelmajor (6) lost to Deepan Chakkravarthy (7).


Under-10: Marsel Efroimiski (7.5) lost to K. Sai Nirupama (8.5).

Under-12: P. Lakshmi Sahiti (8) drew with Yelyzaveta Solovyova (8); Iselin Lolici (6.5) lost to Rucha Pujari (7.5); G. Srisha (6) beat Anja Berghofer (5).

Under-14: I. Ramya Krishna (7) lost to Anastasia Bondaruk (9); Sanda Vetrila (6) lost to Pon. N. Krithika (7).

Under-16: D. Harika (8) drew with Anna Muzychuk (9); Valentina Gulina (8) beat Saheli Nath (7); Mary Ann Gomes (7) beat Katherine Pelletier (6).

Under-18: N. Vinuthna (6.5) beat Karman Mar (5.5); Maria De-Rosa (5.5) lost to Soumya Swaminathan (6.5).

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