Laxman bags Commonwealth Gold; Maletin overall champion

New Delhi: Indian Grandmaster R R Laxman
walked away with the gold medal while Russia`s Pavel Maletin
won the overall title in the Parsvnath Commonwealth Chess
Championship that concluded on Tuesday.

Laxman, playing with black pieces, sprang a major surprise
on Argentinean GM Pablo Lafuente in the heavy pieces endgame,
to produce his best performance ever.

Maletin won the Commonwealth chess Open title following a
31-move draw against M R Lalith Babu on the top board.

Both Maletin and Laxman were tied at nine points out of a
possible 11 rounds but since Russia is not a part of the
Commonwealth, the medal was awarded to the Indian.

Maletin`s had a superior tiebreak score on Bucholz count
then Laxman in the final standings.

The silver was won by Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta who
finished overall third and a half point behind the two

In the final round, Abhijeet, a former world junior
champion and reigning Asian Bronze medallist, misplayed a
better position to eventually settle for a draw with Russian
Dmitry Bocharov.

Lalith Babu won the bronze medal after his fifth place
finish in the overall standings.

Maletin received Rs 1,60,000 and a trophy, Laxman
collected Rs 1,15,000 while Abhijeet went home richer by Rs

In the women`s section, D Harika won the gold medal
pipping compatriot Tania Sachdev in the tie-breaker. Harika,
who had decided to withdraw from the championship on the eve
of the final round due to illness, was lucky in the final game
that she won from a drawn position.

Tania had started the day a half point ahead but
following a draw in her final game, she could only inch
herself up to 7.5 points wherein Harika`s tie-breaker was

The bronze went to S Meenakshi who also scored 7.5 points
but had the low tiebreak.

The Junior category title was won by Lalith Babu who gave
yet another compelling display in the event. Grandmaster
Parimarjan Negi got the silver in this section while the
bronze went to Ashwin Jayaram.

The Junior girls` title went to R Preethi, while A
Sithalatchumi won the silver and former national junior
champion Bhakti Kulkarni laid her hands on the bronze.

In the under-16 category, Sahaj Grover outplayed K Priya
Dharshan in the final round to secure the Gold.


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