Young Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh emerged victorious in the 48th La Roda International Open Chess tournament here, scoring eight points from nine rounds. The 15-year-old GM from Chennai, who remained unbeaten through the nine rounds, defeated Israel’s Victor Mikhalevski in the final round late on Sunday to emerge clear winner ahead of Haik M Martirosyan of Armenia, who secured 7.5 points.
Gukesh’s compatriot – R Praggnanandhaa, another teenaged GM, took the third spot. He finished with seven points as did four others including another Indian Raunak Sadhwani but won the third prize on the basis of a better tie-break score. GM Sadhwani took the fourth place followed by Manuel Lopez Martinez Josep (Spain) and Venezuela’s Ramon Martinez.
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Gukesh finished with seven wins and two draws. One of the draws came in the sixth round against Praggnanandhaa in a 41-move game. Praggnanandhaa, who had last week won the prestigious Reykjavik Open in Iceland, held the advantage mid-way but could not press on for a win. His other drawn game was against Haik M Martirosyan in round five. He closed out the tournament with a 26-move win over Mikhalevski in an English Opening Golombek defence game.
Gukesh posted wins over fellow Indian Bhagat Kushin round one and followed it up by beating Alberto Hernandez Ramos, Daniel Romero Pallares and Javier Bernabeu Lopez Carlos (all Spain), Jorge Renteria (Colombia) and Nahul Gavarrete (Honduras). “Enjoyed the stay & hospitality in La Roda and more importantly clinching my 1st open title of the year especially coming after very near misses and heartbreaks," Gukesh tweeted after the triumph. Like Gukesh, Praggnanandhaa too remained unbeaten but four drawn games pegged him back.
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