Dubai: Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda played out a draw with overnight co-leader Miezis Normunds of Latvia to tie for the first spot in the 14th Dubai International open chess tournament that concluded here.
Having done a lot of hard work and enjoying great luck in the victory against Parimarjan Negi in the penultimate round, Chanda played a safe positional game as black against Normunds who was eventually happy with a draw, which was achieved in the endgame.
Ni Hua of China emerged as the winner with the best tiebreak in a five-way tie that also included the Georgian duo of Baadur Jobava and Mikheil Mchedlishvili. All these five players will get the major chunk of USD 50000 at stake here.
Grandmaster and National champion Abhijeet Gupta played out a draw with Zaven Andriasian of Armenia to tie for the 6th spot along with M Shyam Sundar who came up with an inspired performance to beat GM Amin Bassem of Egypt. Besides these two seven others tied for the 6th spot scoring an identical 6.5 points.
Chanda was the pick of the Indians and proved that their domination in the tournament, started by Abhijeet Gupta last year, is here to stay.
"I would say I was very lucky as Parimarjan had simply outplayed me in the penultimate round and then just blundered, also against fellow city-mate Ganguly I was worse but there at least I was defending," Chanda said in a post-tournament chat.
The co-winner had the worst tiebreak among five players.
Ganguly, in fact, missed out on a chance to finish at the top after he misplayed a clearly superior position and went down to top seed Jobava. Having full control and extra material in the middle game, Ganguly went haywire in the final stages as Jobava staged a miraculous escape.
Negi, who should in fact have won the tournament but for a rare blunder against Chanda, again misplayed a winning position and drew with Karen Grigoryan of Armenia. Negi ended on six points but it is clear that the Delhi-boy is going to break the shackles and join the 2700 rating club quite soon.
Madhurima Shekhar confirmed her Women International Master norm despite losing the final round game against Al-Qudami Basheer of Yemen while Ankit Rajpara completed the formalities of becoming the next International Master of the country, having crossed the 2400 rating barrier from here.