Abhijeet Gupta wins Al-Ain Classic
Al Ain (UAE): Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta benefitted from the late arrival of Gerogia`s Baadur Jobava to win the Al-Ain Classic International Open Chess tournament that concluded here at the UAE university.
In a bizarre turn of events, top seeded and rating favourite Jobava failed to turn up for the final game in time, giving the points as walk over and the title to Gupta who had kept himself in contention with two victories on the trot prior to the last round.
For the records, Gupta scored seven points out of a possible nine and tied for the top spot along with Vasif Dararbayli of Azerbaijan and Martin Kravitsiv of Georgia but won the title on tie-break with a total of six wins and two draws.
Earlier, after a sedate start, Gupta came back strongly in the event defeating GM Aloyzas Kveinys of Lithuania in the penultimate round.
Gupta`s victory added to Indian celebration as a total of eight medals were won by the youngsters in the world youth chess championships that concluded at the same time. R Praggnanandaah was the pick of the boys winning the gold in the under-8 championship with a tremendous 11 points out of 11 games. The Indian finished two points clear of nearest rivals here.
In the under-10 girls` section, Saina Salonika deservingly won the gold scoring nine points while C Lakshmi won the bronze in this section a half point behind. The Indian duo of Murali Karthikeyan and Girish Kaushik dominated the under-16 championship scoring nine points in all. Karthikeyan, a former under-12 world champion, however had the better tie-break for the gold while Kaushik won the silver.
Among other Indians in the fray, Raghunandan K Srihari won the silver in under-12 section while Bhagyashree Patil and Grandmaster Vaibhav Suri won bronze medals in under-8 girls and under-18 respectively.
The Indian team also won the best team prize as the maximum medal winning country in the mammoth event that saw participation of over 1700 children from various parts of the globe