IM Visakh becomes first Indian to win Mayor's chess

Tamil Nadu teenager and International Master N R Visakh created history by becoming the first Indian to clinch the Mumbai Mayor's International Open Chess Tournament and lead a top-three sweep on Thursday.

The 17-year-old Visakh drew his final round match with fellow-Indian and GM Diptayan Ghosh and was tied for the top place on 8 points with Ghosh and Chandigarh's Himal Gusain in a three-way tie.

The arbiters declared Visakh (ELO 2400) as the champion on a better tie-break as he drew with Ghosh in 16 moves. Gusain also finished on 8 points after a final round win over IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni.

Visakh thus became the first Indian to capture the title in its nine-year history and won Rs 3 lakh, while Ghosh took home Rs 2 lakh and Gusain Rs 1 lakh.

While this was Visakh's biggest victory, the soft spoken player who began playing chess at the age of 9 said his win over GM Farrukh Amonatov of Tajikistan earlier in the tournament is the high point of his fledgling chess career.

Five other Indians finished among the 8 players in joint second place.

The game between Visakh and Ghosh started with a Queen's Indian and turned into a Dutch Defence. On the 9th move Ghosh sacrificed a pawn on d5 for better play but both players did not take any risk and agreed for a draw in just 16 moves.

Top results: IM Visakh N R drew with GM Diptayan Ghosh; GM Boris Grachev (RUS) drew with Girish A Koushik; Himal Gusain bt IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni; GM Farrukh Amonatov (TJK) bt Muthaiah A l; Sandipan Chanda bt FM Ahmed Sk. Nasir (BAN); GM Evgeny Gleizerov (RUS) bt Kunal M; GM Swapnil S Dhopade bt Hemant Sharma; IM Krishna C R G bt Srinath Rao S V; Tarini Goyal bt IM Ravi Teja S.

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