Abhijeet Gupta wins Bronze in Asian Continental Chess C`ship

Subic Bay: Former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta played out a quick draw with Ni Hua of China to win the bronze medal in the 9th Asian Continental Chess Championship that concluded.

Ni Hua scored seven points in all and won the gold medal in the 50000 USD tournament that featured the cream of players from across Asia.

The silver went to local star Wesley So of Philippines who scored 6.5 points with a better tiebreak score than Abhijeet.

It was a four way tie for the second spot and Zhao Jianchao of China and Le Quang Liem of Vietnam were the other two who qualified to the next World Cup to be held in 2011.

Abhijeet, who had lost the second game, came back strongly mid-way through the tournament and didn`t lose focus after that.

"It was an ordinary start but I always thought that it was still possible to catch up and somehow I managed to remain focussed throughout. After winning a couple of games I was always close to the leaders and the victory against G N Gopal was probably the decisive factor in my overall finish," Abhijeet, who is a Bharat Petroleum employee, told reporters.

In the final game, Abhijeet repeated a known drawing line with white pieces against the Berlin defense of Ni Hua. Abhijeet`s foresight in judging possible results proved right in the end but he was assisted by Yu Yangyi who misplayed from a winning position against Krishnan Sasikiran.

Krishnan Sasikiran and P Harikrishna will have to find another way to play in the next world cup as both finished with an identical score of 5.5 points.

Harikrishna was stunned by S P Sethuraman in the penultimate round and won the final one while Sasikiran went down to Zhao Jianchao in the 8th round and drew with Yangyi in his final match.

Amongst other Indians in the fray Sethuraman came up with a creditable show tallying six points and ended in a tie for the fifth place. Sethuraman was another comeback-man after a moderate start.

The women`s event was won by Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran after she drew her final game against Chinese Tan Zhongyi. The silver and bronze in this section went to Chinese duo of Ding Yixin and Wang Yu.

The Indian girls could not do much in the last few rounds and Tania Sachdev emerged as the best performer from India scoring five points in all and tied for the seventh spot.

Kiran Manisha Mohanty ended up with 4.5 points while S Meenakshi ended her campaign with four points.