Bhagyashree and Pranesh claim titles

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In a thrilling finale, Tamil Nadu’s M. Pranesh and Maharashtra’s Bhagyashree Patil won the National (under-16) online rapid chess titles on Tuesday.

Leader after the 10th and penultimate round, Pranesh drew with Manish Kumar to reach an unsurpassable tally of 9.5 points from 11 rounds. A little later, Delhi’s Aaryan Varshney defeated TN’s Suresh Harsh to catch up with Pranesh. Later, the tie-break favoured Pranesh and Varshney finished runner-up.

In the girls section, Bhagyashree finished first among equals following a three-way tie at 9 points.

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After 10th-round leaders Delhi’s Khuaana Kapoor and Gujarat’s Riddhi Patel drew quickly on the top board, Bhagyashree, playing black, defeated Statemate Aahana Pachchigar to reach nine points. As it turned out, Bhagyashree’s tie-break was superior to those of Khuanna and Riddhi.

The three-day National under-14 championship begins on Wednesday.

Final standings (after 11 rounds):

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Open: 1-2. M. Pranesh (TN), Aaryan Varshney (Del) (9.5 each); 3-5. Manish Kumar (Odi), Jimmy Jubin (Ker) and Akshay Posina (Tel) (9 each).

Girls: 1-3. Bhagyashree Patil (Mah), Khuanna Kapoor (Del), Riddhi Patel (Guj) (9 each); 4-5. Dhyan Patel (Guj) and K. Ratnapriya (TN) (8.5 each).

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