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Akash is the champion

G Akash

Calcutta: Sixteen-year-old G Akash emerged champion with nine points in the Tata National Premier Chess Championship which concluded at the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, here, on Sunday. Akash drew his final round game against Deep Sengupta, with black, to take the title and a cash prize of Rs.1.75 lakh.

As India is considered as a separate zone for the World Championship qualification matches, the champion from the Nationals gets a direct entry to the World Cup. Akash also got a GM norm as well as the IM title for winning this zonal meet.

Three players scored 8.5 points, but IM Vidit Gujrathi was placed second on account of his better progressive score, GM S. Arun Prasad was third while GM Deep Sengupta finished fourth.

Vidit Gujrathi drew his final-round game against top seed, B Adhiban, with black, in an interesting 59-move encounter in a Sicilian Defence.

GM M.R. Venkatesh, who led the event for most part of it, accepted a draw early against GM S. Arun Prasad in 25 moves to take the fifth spot.

GM G.N. Gopal drew his final round game against GM Abhijit Kunte to take the sixth spot. The top six from this meet will represent India in all world meets in 2013.

WGM Mary Ann Gomes beat IM C. Praveen Kumar in the final round to finish 21st.