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Chess: India's Gukesh wins La Roda Open; Pragg, Sadhwani among top 5

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Mumbai, April 18 (IANS) India’s D Gukesh, the third youngest Grandmaster in the world, has won the 48th Open Ajedrez La Roda chess tournament at La Roda in Spain, overcominng the challenge of Israeli GM Victor Mikhalevski in the final round.

Gukesh, 15, who went into the final round with seven points, defeated Mikhalevski with white pieces to finish with 8.0 points from nine rounds to top a field comprising 193 players.

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Armenian 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 with 7.0 points from nine rounds. Pragg finished third on tiebreak and Sadhwani was fourth.

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

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“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 hours after clinching his maiden title in open chess.

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

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

“@DGukesh wins La Roda. 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 Praggnanandhaa and Sadhwani. But in the end he claimed the title in convincing manner, winning his last round game as Pragg was held to draw by Martirosyan. Sadhwani defeated Zhou Ren Lim of Malaysia in the ninthe round to move to 7.0 points.

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

–IANS

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