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Aravindh Chithambaram wins the National Senior Championship second time in a row

by Satanick Mukhuty - 19/12/2019

The National Senior Championship 2019 came to a successful completion today here in Majitar, Sikkim. Aravindh Chithambaram defended his title and won the event for the second time in a row with an impressive score of 9.5/11. Akash G and Ravi Teja S both finished a full point behind Aravindh with 8.5/11 each but on the basis of tie-breaks were declared second and third respectively. Attractive cash prizes and trophies were disbursed in a colourful closing ceremony which was graced by the presence of the renowned former Indian footballer and star Baichung Bhutia. We bring you an illustrated final report.

Aravindh Chithambaram defeated IM Shyaam Nikhil P in the eleventh and final round of National Senior Championship 2019 to finish a full point ahead of the rest of the field and emerge as the sole champion.The 20-year-old from Tamil Nadu, who is also the triple-crown champion of the nation, had won the previous edition of the tournament too that was held last year in Jammu. Thus, with this victory, he has successfully defended his title.

Aravindh scored an impressive 9.5 points in eleven rounds, registering as many as nine wins with a performance of 2733 Elo. He drew a game against Lalith Babu M R in round eight and suffered his only loss against the event's proverbial dark horse Akash G in round five | Photo: Amruta Mokal

...And thus the 37th Grandmaster of the country added one more feather to his cap and gained an impressive 18.2 rating points from this phenomenal achievement.

In the final round of the tournament Aravindh registered a crushing victory with the black pieces against IM Shyaam Nikhil P. Shyaam Nikhil, who started off as the sixteenth seed in the event, played some solid bit of chess, remaining unbeaten till the penultimate round and even beating the top-seed Abhijeet Gupta in round nine, to make his way to the top of the leaderboard. However, in the last round the 27-year-old International Master simply failed to hold his own against the very competent Aravindh and missed his footing in the opening itself.

Aravindh (right) in action against Shyaam Nikhil | Photo: IA Dharmendra Kumar

Shyaam Nikhil P - Aravindh Chithambaram, Round 11

In the above position arising out of a Spanish, the move 11...b4 proved critical as it stirred up activity on the queenside. White went here with the Nh2-Ng4 maneuver of the knight exchanging on f6 next but this only brought Black's pieces to life.

15...d4! ensured that White's counterplay was completely in check. Now Black could make progress unrestrained with ...Qg6, ...Rb8 etc.

And at this point, with 22...Bg4, Black's domination became clear.

The doubling up of rooks on the b-file was the final nail in the coffin. White was simply suffocated! No wonder Shyaam Nikhil decided to call it a day just after ten moves from here.

Aravindh was awarded a cash prize worth rupees five lakh and of course, a stunning champion's trophy! The famous footballer Baichung Bhutia graced the closing ceremony of the event by being present as the chief guest | Photo: IA Dharmendra Kumar

The second and third places in the event were secured by two International Masters who surprisingly outperformed many of their GM contenders. Akash G, who created a sensation earlier by beating players like Deep Sengupta, Sandipan Chanda, and Aravindh himself, lifted the runners up trophy. While the experienced Ravi Teja got the better of Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda today in the final round to clinch the third spot.

Akash G goes back home richer by rupees four lakh and more importantly he also made a GM norm from the event | Photo: IA Dharmendra Kumar

Akash (right) drew his final round game against GM Himanshu Sharma. This game is presented below | Photo: IA Dharmendra Kumar

Ravi Teja proved his mettle in the final round by shocking Sandipan Chanda in a drawish rook pawn endgame. He deservingly finished third in the event and returns home with rupees three lakh cash and a glittering trophy | Photo: IA Dharmendra Kumar 

Sandipan Chanda - Ravi Teja, Round 11

Sandipan and Ravi reached the above position from a queen's pawn opening where both sides had a pair of rooks and all eight pawns intact. Optically this looks drawish but endgames can be tricky. White indeed misplayed it from here to lose the game. Check out the full encounter below.

The top three with their trophies! | Photo: IA Dharmendra Kumar

Results of the final round

Bo.No.NameRtgPts. ResultPts. NameRtgNo.
117IMShyaamnikhil P 2455 0 - 1 GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr. 26052
229GMHimanshu Sharma 2392 ½ - ½8 IMAkash G 243121
39GMVisakh N R2516 ½ - ½ GMVaibhav Suri 25973
47GMChanda Sandipan 2545 0 - 1 IMRavi Teja S. 245516
531IMKonguvel Ponnuswamy 2367 ½ - ½7 IMDas Arghyadip 245914
65GMLalith Babu M R25567 1 - 07 GMSriram Jha 238430
711GMAnurag Mhamal 24907 1 - 07 IMSaravana Krishnan P. 230441
813GMKunte Abhijit 24677 1 - 07 FMNavalgund Niranjan 223152
919GMLaxman R.R. 24447 ½ - ½7 GMNeelotpal Das 243022
101GMGupta Abhijeet 2611 1 - 0 Harshavardhan G B 234433

Final standings 

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
12GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.IND2605Tamil Nadu9,50,074,580,5
221IMAkash GIND2431Tamil Nadu8,50,076,082,5
316IMRavi Teja S.IND2455RSPB8,50,069,074,5
43GMVaibhav SuriIND2597Delhi8,00,074,078,0
511GMAnurag MhamalIND2490Goa8,00,073,077,5
65GMLalith Babu M RIND2556PSPB8,00,072,577,5
79GMVisakh N RIND2516Tamil Nadu8,00,071,077,0
829GMHimanshu SharmaIND2392Haryana8,00,069,573,0
931IMKonguvel PonnuswamyIND2367PSPB8,00,066,071,0
1013GMKunte AbhijitIND2467PSPB8,00,063,067,0

Complete results and standings

Result of "Who will win the National Senior Championship 2019" contest!

Before the National Senior Championship began on the 10th of December 2019, we had announced a small contest for our readers! The task was to guess the champion's name and also his/her score. Well friends, after nine days of intense battle, it is Aravindh Chithambaram who has emerged as the winner with a score of 9.5/11. Many of our readers had guessed the name of Aravindh correctly but the only one who got both the name and score correct is Abhiraj Sinha! We congratulate Abhiraj for winning three months of ChessBase Premium account worth Rs.499/- from ChessBase India and request him to send his details to to claim the prize.

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