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Armenia’s Ter-Sahakyan emerges champ

Taleigao: Armenian Grandmaster Ter-Sahakyan Samvel won the 2nd Goa International Open Grandmaster Chess Tournament, organised by Goa Chess Association (GCA), defeating Grandmaster Jojua Davit at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium, Taleigao on Tuesday.

Three GMs finished with eight points at the end of Round 10, but it was Armenian Ter-Sahakyan who finished with better tie-break point which ultimately made him the champion. Armenian

Petrosyan Manuel who led for the major part of the event had to settle for second spot while last year’s champion Idani Pouya came third.

GM Anurag Mhamal was the only Goan to finish in the top 45 as he finished 35th with 6.5 points following his Round 10 win over Ritviz Parab, who finished his campaign with 5.5 points.

Though having a slow start, upcoming 13-year-old Leon Mendonca stunned GM Iniyan P and  held on to his game to earn a draw to end the tournament on the 42nd rank. Niraj Saripalli finished his campaign with 5.5 points while Nandhini Saripalli ended with 5 points.

Fide Master Nitish Belurkar closed on 4.5 points.

Top seed Iturrizaga Eduardo finished 12th while India’s youngest GM Gukesh D finish on 10th position with 7.5 points. International Master Mohammad Shaikh finished ninth.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was the chief guest and gave away the prizes to the winner and runners-up in the presence of Sports Minister Manohar Azgaonkar, Power Minister and GCA president Nilesh Cabral, Executive Director of Dempo Industries Pallavi Dempo and other dignitaries.

IM Leon Mendonca, Ritviz Parab and Niraj Saripalli won the prizes for best Goan players.

“The participation of over 1300 players itself speaks about the success of this tournament. The Goa Chess Association has been working hard in the State as they have contributed immensely towards the development of sports. It is a proud moment for us that the association is already working towards development of chess in schools. Young children should take up chess as it helps in intellectual growth of the child,” said the Chief Minister.

“Happy to be the part of the second edition of the International GM and happy to know about the success of the tournament across the world. This tournament has made Goa a sporting destination. I congratulate the winners and participants of the tournament and also congratulate Nilesh Cabral for organising this event,” said Babu Azgaonkar.

“I thank all the GMs for participating in the tournament and to give our young budding Indian and Goan talent to achieve different norms. In this edition we have a record 13 norms achieved by the players which proves a great success of the tournament,” said GCA president Nilesh Cabral in his address after the prize distribution ceremony.

Meanwhile, in category C Goa’s Ayush Pednekar finished 19th with 7.5 points; Snehil Shetty and Srilaxmi Kamat finished 30th and 32nd respectively, while Ethan Vaz bagged first place in the U-9 age category. Ayush Naik was first in the below 1300 ratings and Sairudra Nagvekar topped in below 1200 ratings.

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