Aravindh triumphs in 11th 75-minute online blitz game, Raunak loses bronze

NAGPUR: Raunak Sadhwani, Maharashtra's youngest Grandmaster (GM), fell short by half a point to miss a podium in an online blitz tournament titled Chess Triumphs Over Covid-19 on Thursday.

The 11 round blitz tournament held on the chess.com server proved to be the most successful tournament for website promoters. Up to 328 players participated in the 75-minute tournament in which Indian general manager Aravindh Chithambaram claimed the title with 9.5 points.

Aravindh lived up to his turnover and pocketed a beautiful cash prize of Rs 21,000. Aravindh had a tie with the Uzbekistan player and a better progressive score gave the title to the Indian GM.

The 11-round encounter saw six players tied for second with nine points. Raunak, 14, had a heartbreaking tie in the final round to finish with 8.5 points.

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On his way to ninth place, Raunak recorded victories in eight rounds and suffered a couple of defeats before playing a 65-move marathon draw in the final round against Uzbekistan IM Abdimalik Abdi Salim .

After recording victories in six successive rounds, Raunak lost consecutive games and made a comeback to get the best of Indian instant messaging. Leon Mendonca - Still stuck in Hungary - and Russian MI Miran Oganian. Of the eight wins Raunak recorded, three were against higher-ranking GMs, including a 97-move marathon victory over his coach Swapnil Dhopade. He also defeated D Gukesh and Ukrainian Vitaliy Bernadskiy.

Nagpur's Divya Deshmukh and Sankalp Gupta too had a decent show to finish the event with seven and 6.5 points respectively.

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