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Negi ends the Nationals jinx

After playing nearly a dozen tournaments, the fag end of 2010 finally gave Parimarjan Negi a reason to cheer about. On Wednesday, the 17-year-old chess player achieved two major feats.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2010 00:25 IST
Anupma Tripathi

After playing nearly a dozen tournaments, the fag end of 2010 finally gave Parimarjan Negi a reason to cheer about. On Wednesday, the 17-year-old chess player achieved two major feats. Not only did he win his first national title, which had been eluding him for the last three years, but also became the first player from Delhi to clinch the top honours.

The second seed won the National Premier Championship with nine and a half points after settling for a quick draw against Grandmaster Tejas Bakre in the 13th and final round. Top seed GN Gopal finished second and dethroned champion B Adhiban third. Abhijit Kunte and Vidit Gujarathi of Nashik completed the top five.

“Thank God for this win,” said Negi, who at 13 years, three months and 22 days became the second youngest Grandmaster in the world after Sergey Karjakin (12 years and 7 months). “It’s been really disappointing all this while. The win is important in the light of the fact that I had never won a national title ever.”

The year 2010 hasn’t been really kind to this young Delhiite, the youngest. Despite coming excruciatingly close to winning title on a number of occasions, Negi couldn’t go the distance to finish as the best.

In April, the genial little master almost sealed victory at the Dubai Open only if it wasn’t for his last two round defeats. The Indian was in lead till Round 7 when the loss struck him.

The next month saw him in top form at the Commonwealth Championship but unfortunately ran out of luck in the last five rounds. But the string of losses didn’t bog him down. Instead, the lad got his act together and took the aim once again.

“I wasn’t going to give up anyway and will never capitulate. I finally took down the target I had been aiming for,” said a determined Negi. Negi’s record in the nationals is nothing great. In the year 2007, he was pale shadow of his form as he finished seventh. The Delhi lad learnt from his mistakes to finish second best in the year 2008. However, Negi couldn’t participate in the next edition in 2009 as he was busy brushing up his skills in Belgium. “It was equally important for me to attend the training camp in Belgium,” said Negi. With this win, Negi has also qualified for the FIDE World Cup to be held in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia in 2011.