Fortune favours Surya Shekhar Ganguly
Rakesh Rao
Tuesday, Jan 20, 2009

NEW DELHI: After a tense and long wait, a marginally favourable tie-break score tilted the scales in favour of National champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly and made him the champion of the seventh Parsvnath International Open chess tournament here on Monday.

After a long spell of suspense, Ganguly and Russia’s Mikhail Ulibin tied for the title with 8.5 points each. It then came down to their tie-break scores which was the aggregate of points scored by the opponents of each player.

Ganguly, who waited anxiously and kept an eye on the calculations made by the Chief Arbiter R. Anantharam, finally sported a triumphant smile when his title was confirmed. For the record, Ganguly’s tie-break score was 69 points to Ulibin’s 68.5.

Earlier, overnight leader Ganguly accepted P. Karthikeyan’s draw-offer after checking out the positions on the second and third boards. The 15-move helped Karthikeyan earn his second Grandmaster Norm and left Ganguly assured of a shared first spot. Ulibin managed to squeeze out a victory over Thejkumar to catch up with Ganguly in the title-race.

Playing it safe

As Ganguly explained, “I agreed to draw after I was sure that Neelotpal (Das) could not lose against (Petr) Kostenko. On the second board, the game between Thejkumar and Ulibin was also equal. Since I could not get any advantage out the opening against Karthikeyan, I decide to take the gamble and drew.

“Thereafter, I realised, some of opponents (in the previous rounds) like Arghyadip Das and Anup Deshmukh (down a queen) were not well placed. Sriram Jha also was battling against D. P. Singh. So I was very tense. But luckily for me, Arghyadip, Deshmukh, Jha and Deep Sengupta won helped my cause,” said a delighted Ganguly after winning his first title in the Capital.

Ganguly, seeded three, received the trophy but shared the prize-money with Ulibin, seeded 11. Both players received Rs. 2,19,500 each. Kostenko, who won the first seven rounds, settled for the third spot after drawing with Neelotpal.

Here is the full story.

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