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Abhijeet Gupta Wins Commonwealth Chess Championship 2016

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. In fact, all the medals in the senior category were won by the Indians players. Grandmasters S L Narayanan and Deep Chakkravarthy got the silver and bronze medals respectively 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 itself. 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 his senior namesake Abhijit Kunte found the going tough and then in the penultimate round M R Lalith Babu was outdone amidst complexities.

 

Although a draw might have been enough for the overall victory for Abhijeet in the last round, he did not know it at the start. Up against talented Grandmaster Vaibhav Suri, Abhijeet employed the King’s Indian defense 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. “It was a slow start and I am obviously pleased with my effort towards the end,” Abhijeet said about his overall performance. “Last year when I won it in Delhi I had started off with victories and was in lead right till the end, this time it was a catch-up act and I am pleased I was able to cope up with some pressure.”

 

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Abhijeet Gupta Wins Commonwealth Chess Championship

Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta won the Commonwealth Chess Championship after settling for a quick draw with Arghyadip Das in the ninth and final round that concluded here.

 

Gupta a winner of this event in 2015, regained the crown with a very impressive eight points out of a possible nine, winning the first seven games in the championship and drawing the last two with utmost ease.

 
Commonwealth Champion Abhijeet Gupta

“I guess I was doing well right from the start, I got off with some victories and it was nice to win seven games in a row, I could not remember the last time I did that in any International event. That was it I guess my seventh round victory was the most important and it came rather quickly as Deep Sengupta was not so well prepared which I found a bit unusual but obviously took it!” said Gupta on his excellent victory.

 
Arghyadip Das came second winning the silver ahead of M R Lalith Babu who won his game to win the Bronze medal.