Surya Sekhar Ganguly (eight points) clinched a record sixth successive title after agreeing to a draw against M Shyam Sundar of Tamil Nadu in the final round of the 46th National 'A' chess championship in Mangalore on Tuesday.
Shyam Sundar, playing the French defence against Ganguly, had earlier rejected an offer for a draw. But they reached a blind alley after 30 moves and agreed to split the point.
Ganguly, playing for PSPB, is now just two titles short of surpassing Praveen Thipsay's record and needs another four to get the better of Manuel Aaron, who has won the National 'A' title nine times.
Parimarjan Negi, who was held to a draw by Deepan Chakaravarthy, shared the second spot with Akshayraj Kore on 7.5 points. But since Kore had won the match between them, he was adjudged runners-up and Negi finished third.
The rest of the matches too ended in draws. LIC's Sriram Jha split point with world under-16 champion B Adhiban of Tamil Nadu in 21 moves, K Rathnakaran of Railways drew with team-mate MS Thejkumar and Neelotpal Das of PSPB was held by S Satyapragyan.
Both Rathnakaran and Das made sure that they would finish within the first six as that would allow them to compete at international tournaments.
Final Standings: 1. Surya Shekhar Ganguly (PSPB, 8); 2. Akshayraj Kore (Mah, 7.5); 3. Parimarjan Negi (IA, 7.5); 4. Deepan Chakravarthy (PSPB, 7); 5. K Rathnakaran (Rlys, 6.5); 6. Neelotpal Das (PSPB, 6.5); 7. Sriram Jha (LIC. 6.5); 8. S Satyapragyan (IA, 6); 9. Praveen Thipsay (Mah, 5); 10. MS Thejkumar (Rlys, 4.5); 11. M Shyam Sundar (TN, 4.5); 12. P Konguvel (PSPB, 4.5); 13. B Adhiban (TN, 4).