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Tania, Ashwin pick GM norms

July 03, 2007 19:57 IST

National women's champion Tania Sachdev collected her maiden Women's Grandmaster norm after defeating German International Master Mathias Roeder in a well-crafted game in the final round of Sort International Open chess tournament that concluded in Sort, Spain.

Earlier in the ninth round, Ashwin Jayaram also picked his maiden GM norm after a hard-earned draw against Grandmaster Vladimir Burmakin of Russia.

The event was jointly won by Russian GM Oleg Korneev and Georgian Tamaz Gelashvili. Both scored 7.5 points out of a possible 10.

Tania and Ashwin tied for the third spot, scoring seven points each. Also making an International Women Master norm was Soumya Swaminathan.

Even as she completed her maiden IM norm after beating top seed Grandmaster Granda Zuniga of Peru in the ninth round, Tania needed a win in the final game and achieved it in style, squeezing out the defensive resources of her higher-ranked opponent.

Tania played white and got a prepared position on board with slightly better prospects. Roeder had some chances to hold the game with some precise defense but the German, after his peace proposal was turned down, went haywire with his planning and ended up losing the finale.

"It is indeed the best performance of my career and I am very happy about it," Tania said soon after the game.

For the record, the Delhi girl had also beaten Korneev in the fourth round.

Tania termed the game against Korneev as her best effort.

"I thought I will make an IM norm from here, but as I was able to play well in a few other games as well, this GM norm became a reality," Tania said.

She won seven games and lost three in this impressive performance.

Ashwin played out draw in the final round against Alexander Colovic of Macedonia.

"I had a good start and held on to it," said Ashwin.

Ashwin lost one game against Vinay Bhat mid-way but was otherwise quite consistent.

On the top boards in the final round, Gelashvili defeated Sergei Kasparov of Belarus while Korneev was lucky to turn the tables on Hichem Hamdouchi of Morocco.

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