Sunday, 17 June, 2007

Aniruddha lifts U-19 Blitz Chess Championship title

B D Narayankar

PUNE: Though losing out to Omkar Joshi in the final round, Aniruddha Deshpande won U-19 Blitz Chess Championship organized by Hillside Gymkhana here on Sunday.

Aniruddha won eight out of nine total games, earning eight points, before tying up with top-seed Soumya Swaminathan. The former trounced the latter in a tiebreaker.

Fifth-seed Sanny Renju had to be satisfied with third position after earning seven points.

Aniruddha had no real problems beating his opponents -- Third-seed Manoj Kulkarni, Shreyas Hapse (6), Jaydutt Upase (9) and Salil Rabde (10). He, however, had a tough game against Soumya.

“She was a hard nut to crack and lived up to her reputation of being the top-seed player in the tournament,” Aniruddha told Maharashtra Herald after receiving the title.

The game was unpredictable as Soumya was matching each move of Aniruddha to perfection. Soon Aniruddha got a breakthrough by capturing the Rook and forcing Soumya to think hard. She lost as she failed to make the next move within the stipulated time.

“Beating a player like Soumya’s caliber was good. It gave me enough confidence with a self-belief of winning the championship. Before the sixth round, I and Soumya were tied at five points each,” Aniruddha said.

Aniruddha, however, lost to the 11th seed Omkar Joshi in the final round. “I took the game lightly as it was inconsequential. I emerged the champion before the start of the final round,” he said.

Soumya, however, was disappointed to have conceded the game to Aniruddha. “I should have won the game. I was thinking more than Aniruddha. I do not enjoy blitz. Not that I am giving an excuse for losing the game. It is just not my cup of tea,” Soumya said.

Before Soumya emerged the runner up, she defeated fourth-seed Gaurav Konde, fifth-seed Sanny Renju, sixth-seed Shreyas Hapse and eighth-seed Akshay Sane. She defeated Pinak Jedhe in the final round.

In other games, Shreyas Hapse, Sneha Ghatpande, Pratik Limaya and Prashant Sane held Sanny Renju, Champak Dixit and Rugved Gupchup in their final round.

RESULTS: Aniruddha Deshpande 8 points (44), Soumya Swaminathan 8 (41), Sanny Renju 7, Jaydutt Upase 7, Salil Rabade 7, Manoj Kulkarni 7, Omkar Joshi 7, Sanket Mantri 6.5, Gaurav Konde 6, Akshay Sane 6

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