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India’s Gukesh wins La Roda Open; Pragg, Sadhwani among top 5

Gukesh, 15, who went into the final round with his tally of seven points, managed to defeat Mikhalevski with white pieces to finish with 8.0 points from nine rounds to top his field comprising of 193 players in total.

SNS | New Delhi |

India’s D Gukesh, the third youngest Grandmaster in the world, has won the 48th La Roda Open, a chess tournament which took place at La Roda in Spain, overcoming his opponent GM Victor Mikhalevski of Israel in the final round of the tournament.

Gukesh, 15, who went into the final round with his tally of seven points, managed to defeat Mikhalevski with white pieces to finish with 8.0 points from nine rounds to top his field comprising of 193 players in total.

Armenian player GM Haik M. Martirosyan finished second with 7.5 points while Indian GMs R Praggnanandhaa and Raunak Sadhwani finished joint third with three other players – all five ending their campaigns on the same score of 7.0 points from nine rounds. Pragg finished third on tiebreak and Sadhwani came fourth at the end of the tournament.

This is the first Open title for the young 15-year-old Gukesh and comes just days after he had lost to his fellow compatriot Praggnanandhaa in the final round of Reykjavk Open a few days back.

“Thanks @48OpenLaRoda for inviting me to the wonderfully organised event!! Enjoyed the stay & hospitality in La Roda and more importantly clinching my 1st open title of the year especially coming after very near misses and heartbreaks,” Gukesh tweeted on Monday, a few moments later after clinching his maiden title in open chess.

“Relieved and Thanks to all my supporters,” he further added.

Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand also tweeted his appreciation for Gukesh’s victory.

“@DGukesh wins La Roda Open. SadConvincing win at the back of his great performance ! Congrats to @rpragchess too Waca boys to the fore,” Anand tweeted on Monday.

Gukesh was in a tough fight with a group of players including compatriot Pragganandhaa and Sadhwani. But in the end he claimed the title in a pretty convincing manner, winning his last round game as Pragg was held to draw by Martirosyan. Sadhwani defeated Zhou Ren Lim of Malaysia in the ninth round to move to 7.0 points.

Gukesh remained unbeaten in the nine rounds of the tournament, winning seven games and drawing two. His two draws were against his closest rivals, Martirosyan and Pragganandhaa, in the fifth and sixth rounds respectively. The 15-year-old from Chennai finished the tournament with a strong finish, winning the last three rounds.

(Inputs from IANS)