Kolkata: Grand Master Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia Saturday emerged champion with 7.5 points in a tantalisingly close battle for the top place at the SREI International Grandmaster Chess Tournament here.
The exciting final day saw a five-way tie for the top slot, with Samvel Ter-Sahakyan edging out International Master Mihail Mozharov of Russia by half Bucholz tie-breaking points to win the first prize of Rs.2 lakh at the Town Hall.
In the final round, Samvel Ter-Sahakyan went all out for an attack against the second seed, Russian GM Ivan Popov`s king in a blood-thirsty battle in a Sicilian defence.
Popov gave his queen to thwart Ter-Sahakyan`s attack and had three pieces for the sacrificed queen, but accepted a draw on the 33rd move as his king was open in the centre and subject to perpetual checks.
IM Mihkail Mozharov - seeded 10th - needed a draw for his GM norm, and picked up the required half a point against GM Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia to attain his target and be richer with the second prize of Rs.1.5 lakh.
Pantsulaia, who also logged 7.5, secured the third spot, while FM Tigran Petrosyan of Armenia and Azer Mirzov of Azerbaijan were placed 4th and 5th respectively in the 10-round tourney.
Three GM norms and the same number of IM norms were made in the competition.
The find of the meet, was clearly, FM Tigran Petrosyan, who outplayed the Georgian GM Tornike Sanikidze to achieve his GM norm.
Indian IM Murali Karthikeyan, also achieved his GM norm by getting the better of top seed, GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly, who had a forgettable tourney and was placed 30th in the final ranking.
Siblings Nr. Vignesh and Nr. Visakh, who were already assured of the IM norms Friday, went down in the final round against Drazic Sinisaof Serbia and Hovik Hayraptyan of Armenia respectively.
City-based Women grandmasters Mary Ann Gomes and Nisha Mohota were declared the best and the second best women players of the meet. Both scored collected five points.
IM Prasanna Rao and V. Karthik were adjudged the best and second best junior players on the basis of their points.
Top Board Results (Final Round)
IM Mikhail Mozharov (7.5) drew GM Levan Pantsulaia (7.5)
GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (7.5) drew GM Ivan Popov(7.5)
GM Azer Mirzoev(7.5) bt GM Vladislav Borovikov (6.5)
GM Valeriy Neverov (7) drew IM BharuzRzayev (7)
GM Tornike Sanikidze (6) lost to FM Tigran S. Petrosyan (7.5)
GM R.R. Laxman (7) bt IM Jacek Stopa (6)
Surya Sekhar Ganguly (5.5) lost to IM Murali Karthikeyan (7)
GM Praveen Thipsay (5.5) lost to GM Deep Sengupta (6.5)
GM Marat Dzhumaev (6) drew IM Bhuvanesh R. Ramnath (6)
GM Merab Gagunashvili (6.5) bt IM Swayams Mishra (5.5)
GM Levon Babujian (6) drew IM Prasanna Raghuram Rao (6)
GM Hovik Hayrapetyan (6.5) bt Nr. Visakh(5.5)
Nr. Vignesh (5.5) lost to GM Drazic Sinisa (6.5)
V Ap. Kartik (5.5) lost to GM Neelotpal Das (6)
IM Aditya Udeshi (6) bt IM Prathamesh Sunil Mokal (5)