Caruana takes draw in final round to win AAI Chess

New Delhi: Fabiano Caruana took no chances and played a solid 30-move draw against Wesley So of the Philippines to take the title at the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess tournament on Saturday. India`s Krishnan Sasikiran finished second, one point behind the winner.

World Junior No.1 Caruana of Italy emerged winner with seven points in the double round-robin Category 17 tournament. His only loss in the 10-round event came in the ninth round against Viktor Laznicka of the Czech Republic.

Sasikiran finished sole second with six points as he drew his final round against Women`s World champion Hou Yifan of China in Ruy Lopez Breyer where the Indian had black pieces.

In the third game of the day, Indian National champion Parimarjan Negi split the point with Laznicka from a 42-move Caro-Kann, which the Czech player admitted he knew nothing about.

So the tournament that began with three decisive results two weeks ago ended with three draws on the final day.

The winner Caruana received the first prize of $8,000 while Sasikiran pocketed $6,000.

Caruana played d4 on the opening move, making it clear that he was not going to take any risks. He duly got his draw from a Catalan. "I thought I would play for a win if there was a way but, yes, I was not going to take risks. I certainly did not want two losses. Except for that loss in ninth round it was a good tournament for me," he said with a smile.

Sasikiran was quite content with the latter part of the tournament.

"After the two losses I had at the start of the tournament, I felt it was good recovery with four wins and four draws and no more losses," he said.

"In the final round I thought if I got a clear advantage I would try and go for a win. But it turned out to be a draw, which is fine."

The ceremonial opening moves for the final round were made by V.P. Agrawal, Chairman of the Airports Authority of India.


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