It was a big day for Grandmaster RR Laxman. The Chennai based player clinched his career best win and bagged the gold after beating GM Pablo Lafuente of Argentina at the Parsvnath Commonwealth Chess Championship. “This is my best performance so far,” said Laxman after the game. Playing with black, Laxman caught Lafuente off-guard in the endgame. The championship concluded on Tuesday.
In the open category, Grandmaster Maletin Pavel of Russia signed peace with International Master Lalith Babu on the top board to win the title. Both Pavel and Laxman had nine points after 11 rounds, but the former had the better tiebreak record on Bucholz count. The Russian was not in contention in the Commonwealth category.
Grandmaster and a former world junior champion, Abhijeet Gupta, finished third best overall, and second in the Commonwealth category, after settling for a draw with Russian GM Dmithry Bocharov. Gupta had garnered 8.5 points in the tournament. IM Lalith Babu won the Commonwealth bronze, with a fifth-place finish overall. He also bagged the junior (Under-20) title.
In the women’s category, D Harika outwitted IM Tania Sachdev on account of superior tiebreak. Tania entered the final round with a lead of half-a-point, but a draw in the final round saw Harika clinch the gold. S Meenakshi had to be content with the bronze. Grandmaster and second seed, Parimarjan Negi, was placed second in the u-20s, after playing out a draw with Tejas Bakre while the bronze in that category went to Ashwin Jayaram.