WijK Aan Zee: International Master Sahaj Grover finished joint second in the Cultural Village Grandmaster tournament following a heartbreaking last- round loss against Grandmaster Oleksandr Sulypa of Ukraine.
The fifteen-year-old GM in the making missed out on a golden opportunity to secure his second GM norm and win the tournament when he blundered from a level position against Sulypa whose protege Dariusz Swiercz of Poland won the tournament.
Swiercz was extremely lucky to win the last-round game against lowest ranked Enrico Blees of Holland and tallied seven points in all in this round-robin event that also served as a qualifying event for next year`s Tata Steel tournament to be held in January.
While Sahaj missed out narrowly his performance was quite noteworthy in the tournament with five victories, three draws and a lone last-round loss. The Class X student of Kulachi Hansraj Model School in Delhi stands to gain valuable rating points from this event.
The Delhi boy started off with a victory against compatriot, Grandmaster S Arun Prasad, and led the tournament right till the end when luck deserted him. The youngster defeated Roeland Pruijssers amongst higher ranked players in the event and was seeded sixth in the category - VII GM tournament.
For his fantastic performance in the tournament, the organisers of the Tata Steel Grandmaster tournament have invited the young gun to take part in the 2012 edition of the event.
It may be noted that from 2011 the Corus tournament, widely regarded as the best event for world elite, will be known as the Tata Steel Grandmaster tournament following the take-over of Corus by the Indian Steel giants.
The Corus tournament has been won by World Champion Viswanathan Anand five times and Grover will be taking part alongside the world elite in the Grandmaster `C` group of the event in 2012.
"This has been an inspiring event for me even though I missed out on the GM norm and a qualification berth to the Corus this year. All the games were quite tough and when I started I knew it was a very strong field I was facing," said Grover after the tournament adding that "I think I need to work harder to better my playing strength, I will look forward to the GM norms in my forthcoming tournaments at
London and Groningen in December."
Results final round: Oleksandr Sulypa (Ukr, 6.5) beat Sahaj Grover (Ind, 6.5); Enrico Blees (Ned, 1.5) lost to Dariusz Swiercz (Pol, 7); S Arun Prasad (Ind, 5.5) drew with Lars Ootes (Ned, 3); Twan Burg (Ned, 4) lost to Roeland Pruijssers (Ned, 5.5); Sjored Plukkel (Ned, 2.5) lost to Piet Peelen (Ned, 3).