Pavel Maletin Champion, Laxman bags Commonwealth Gold
New Delhi (18 May 2010): – Grandmaster R R Laxman sprang a major surprise on Argentinian GM Pablo Lafuente to bag the Gold medal in the Commonwealth Chess Championship that concluded here.
The open title was won by Grandmaster Pavel Maletin of Russia who settled for a draw with M R Lalith Babu on the top board. Both Maletin and Laxman tallied 9 points out of a possible eleven and the former had the better tiebreak on Bucholz count.
Laxman’s dream run continued on the final day as well as he played a remarkable game with black pieces to crush Pablo Lafuente who was caught off guard in the heavy pieces endgame. The Gold medal is the best performance ever of this Chennai based Grandmaster.
Open Champion Pavel Maletin, Women Champion Harika and Commonwealth Champion RR Laxman
The Silver went to Grandmaster Abhijit Gupta who finished third overall and a half point behind the two leaders. In the final round, Abhijeet, a former world junior champion and reigning Asian Bronze Medallist, misplayed a better position to eventually settle for a draw with Russian Dmitry Bocharov.
Lalith Babu, for his exploits, was the worthy winner of the Bronze medal after his fifth place finish overall.
The Women’s title was decided on tiebreak and the winner was D Harika who pipped Tania Sachdev at the post. Harika, who had decided to withdraw from the championship on the eve of the final round due to illness, was lucky in the final game that she won from a drawn position. Tania had started the day a half point ahead but following a draw in her final game, she could only inch herself up to 7.5 points wherein Harika’s tiebreaker was superior. The Bronze went to S Meenakshi who also scored 7.5 points but had the worst tiebreak.
The junior title was won by M R Lalith Babu who gave yet another compelling display in the event. Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi got the silver in this section while the Bronze went to Ashwin Jayaram.
The Junior girls’ title went to R. Preethi, A. Sithalatchumi won the Silver while former National junior champion Bhakti Kulkarni had to be satisfied with the Bronze. In the under-16 category Sahaj Grover outplayed K Priya Dharshan in the final round to secure the Gold medal.
Final standings after 11 rounds:
1-2. GM Maletin Pavel RUS 2584 and GM Laxman R R IND 2476 – 9.0
3-5. GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 2570, GM Bocharov Dmitry RUS 2592 and IM Lalith Babu M R IND 2493 – 8.5
6-19. GM Negi Parimarjan IND 2636, GM Dreev Alexey RUS 2655, GM Bakre Tejas IND 2483, GM Safarli Eltaj AZE 2610, IM Ashwin Jayaram IND 2457, FM Nitin S IND 2363, GM Kunte Abhijit IND 2523, GM Lafuente Pablo ARG 2587, IM Konguvel Ponnuswamy IND 2412, GM Hossain Enamul BAN 2499, GM Iuldachev Saidali UZB 2511, FM Girish A Koushik IND 2276, IM Grover Sahaj IND 2416 and IM Lodhi Mahmood PAK 2377 – 8.0
20-37. GM Kokarev Dmitry RUS 2612, FM Sai Krishna G V IND 2282, IM Harika Dronavalli IND 2491, IM Tania Sachdev IND 2398, IM Debashis Das IND 2400, IM Venkatesh M R IND 2452, FM Prasanna Rao IND 2309, GM Khusnutdinov Rustam KAZ 2525, FM Rajesh V A V IND 2302, IM Swapnil S Dhopade IND 2457, Matta Vinay Kumar IND 2256, IM Narayanan Srinath IND 2393, IM Shyam Sundar M IND 2372, FM Abu Sufian Shakil BAN 2305, GM Dzhumaev Marat UZB 2495, Ankit R Rajpara IND 2350, GM Pogorelov Ruslan UKR 2454 and WGM Meenakshi Subbaraman IND 2348 – 7.5 etc