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Amardeep Bartakke wins SBI Life Chess crown

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Mumbai : Third-seeded Amardeep Bartakke of Railways won the 5th edition of SBI Life Chess Festival of Russia FIDE Rating Chess Championship, at Cultural Centre of Russia.

In a dramatic turnaround Bartakke scored a decisive win against Gopal Rathod on the second board.

Meanwhile, top-seeded Atul Dahale scored a crucial win against overnight leader FM Sajandas Joshi by half a point, on the top board to finish in joint top spot.


Both Bartakke and Dahale finished with an equal number of 7.5/9 points but the tie-break favoured Bartakke, who was declared the champion. He bagged the glittering SBI Life trophy and a purse of Rs 25,000, whereas Dahale got Rs 20,000. FM Joshi had to be content with 3rd place and a prize of Rs 15,000.

Bartakke after a hesitant and shaky start found Rathod, who attacked from the White side of Sicilian Defence game, in a winning position after 30 moves. But Rathod was unable to go for the kill and close out match and that allowed Bartakke to stay in the fight.

Later as the game seemed to be headed for a draw, Rathod faltered with a wrong move of a pawn on move 43 and that changed the equation of the game in favour Bartakke, who thereafter played immaculately to score a full point.

Dahale, who was faced in a must-win situation against FM Joshi on the top board, came out with all guns blazing in a Slav Defence opening.

He sacrificed a pawn on move 10 and created complications. Joshi was equal to the task and defended accurately and it appeared that his extra material and better position would determine the outcome in his favour, but to everybody’s surprise, a dubious sacrifice of a Knight on move 25 turned the tide in favor of Dahale and thereafter it was just a matter of applying correct technique. FM Joshi resigned on move 48.

Mumbai University player, Sanjeev Mishra capped his fine run with a 4th place and a prize of Rs 10,000, while a surprise was created by 12-year-old, Aniruddha Potawad, who secured 5th position after scalping 6th seeded Tejas Joshi to win Rs 5,000.

The event was conducted by Indian Chess School in association with Cultural Centre of Russia.

Final Ranking list and prize money: 1. Bartakke Amardeep S. – 7.5 points (won Rs 25,000); 2. Atul Dahale – 7.5 points (Rs 20,000); FM S.G. Joshi – 7 points (Rs 15,000); Sanjeev Mishra – 7 points (Rs. 10,000); Potawad Aniruddha – 7 points (Rs 5,000); Gopal Rathod – 6.5 points (Rs 5,000); Gengaje Pratik – 6.5 points (Rs 5,000); Santosh Khedekar – 6.5 points  (Rs 5,000); Kuwar Tushar – 6.5 points (Rs 5,000); Malay Krishna – 6.5 points  (Rs 5,000).

Age Category winners (Girls Under-7): 1. Hiya Shah. Under-9: 1. Krishnan Trisha, 2. Desai Trissha, 3. Newar Nityanshi. Under-11: 1. Talwelkar Gargi, 2. Jaanvi Goel, 3. Mukherjee Shivangi. Under-13: 1. Raul Devika, 2. Gupta Ananya Vikas, 3. Desai Sailee.

Boys (Under-7): 1. Vihaan Dumir, 2. Patni Shanay 3. Kapur Krish. Under-9:1. Nivaan Shah, 2. Rachit Gianchandani, 3. Vasudeva Varun. Under-11: 1. Akshit Jha, 2. Bang Atharva, 3. Bamboat Hrrehan. Under-13: 1. Bhuta Hriday, 2. Chinnam Kartik, 3. Kadam Rishi R.