Filipino GM Oliver Barbosa wins title

Kolkata: Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa of Philippines edged out MR Lalith Babu of PSPB on better tie-break score after both finished with 7.5 points each to win the 6th Kolkata Open Chess Tournament on Thursday.

Lalith Babu shattered the dreams of Vidit to clinch the title in the Queens Indian defence. Vidit exchanged the queens on 23rd move as Lalith grabbed two connected pawns.

Vidit tried in vain to halt the onward march of Lalith`s pawns on a- and b- files in a rook ending. Lalith played correctly to force the win in 97 moves.

But Lalith had to be content with the runner-up place as Oliver won the title and a winner`s purse of Rs 2.75 lakh despite his draw against Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh.

The Slav defence game between Oliver Barbosa and Ziaur Rahman ended a in a draw after 38 well fought moves, with both having queens, a minor piece and three pawns each.

Oliver had to patiently wait for the game between Lalith and Vidit to get confirmation of his title., as a win for Vidit would have put Vidit on the top.

In another rook and pawn ending arising out of a Scotch game, top seed Nigel Short of England used his isolated passer pawn to inflict a defeat on former national champion P Konguvel of PSPB to finish 12th.

Team mates B Adhiban and Abhijit Kunte of PSPB waited for 25 moves of a Grunfeld defence game to make the formal draw as the latter finished third.

Top 10 standings

1 GM Oliver Barbosa (Phi); 2 GM M R Lalith Babu; 3 GM Abhijit Kunte; 4 GM Vidit Gujrathi; 5 GM Ziaur Rahman (Ban); 6 B Adhiban; 7 GM Deepan Chakravarthy; 8 GM Landa Konstantin (Rus); 9 GM S P Sethuraman; 10 GM Deep Sengupta.