Second seed, world U-16 boys champion B Adhiban of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board won a battle of nerves to clinch his back-to-back National B Chess Championship title in Kolkata on Monday.
Overnight leaders — WGM Mary Ann Gomes of Bengal and Adhiban — locking horns with each other, required to win the final round to emerge champion at the Town Hall and Adhiban did not falter when it mattered most.
Adhiban clinched the title with 10.5 points when Mary Ann's French defence proved insufficient to hold him. Mary Ann (9.5) lost a pawn on the kingside on the 26th move and finally the game as Abhiban's pieces penetrated her weakened back rank.
Adhiban thus became richer by Rs 60,000 while Mary Ann had to settle for fourth place. Himanshu Sharma of Haryana drew with Saptarshi Roychowdhury of Railways to finish second with 9.5 points.
After two successive defeats, Deep Sengupta survived a scare in the final round and drew from an inferior position against M S Thejkumar to be placed third with 9.5 points. Thejkumar finished fifth despite ending on 9.5 points as he had a lower Buchholz tie-break score.
Asian junior champion woman IM Padmini Rout became the first woman from Orissa to qualify for the men's National A by finishing ninth.
Rout drew with Swapnil Dhopade of Maharashtra to finish ninth as the higher Buchholz System score enabled her a top-10 finish.