Abhijeet keeps crown

Grandmaster and former World junior champion Abhijeet Gupta has added another feather to his cap by retaining the Commonwealth Chess championship crown in Colombo, Sri Lanka, while International Master Tania Sachdev also finished with a gold medal.

Abhijeet Gupta.

In fact, all the medals in the senior category were won by Indian players.

Grandmasters S.L. Narayanan and Deep Chakkravarthy got the silver and bronze medals in the open section, while Mary Ann Gomes and Kiran Manisha Mohanty reached the podium in the women’s section.

Abhijeet started on a sedate note and conceded two draws to lower-ranked opponents by the fourth round.

Thereafter, it was a daunting task, but the Bhilwara-born BPCL employee showed his true mettle as the championship progressed.

Coming in to the seventh round, Abhijit Kunte found the going tough and in the penultimate round M.R. Lalith Babu was outdone amidst complexities.

Up against talented Grandmaster Vaibhav Suri, Abhijeet employed the King’s Indian defence as black and went on to register a smooth victory. Tallying eight points out of a possible nine, Abhijeet finished a half point ahead of second placed Narayanan.

Tania played well throughout too and finished on seven points without losing a game — scoring five victories and four draws in all.

P.V. Nandhidhaa matched Tania on points and had the better tiebreak, but she had registered for the junior category only.

Despite finishing a very impressive overall fourth in the event, Nandhidhaa had to be content with the gold medal in junior girls’ category.