New Delhi:Grandmaster R B Ramesh of India was crowned as the new Commonwealth Chess Champion after the thrilling tenth and the final round of tournament in New Delhi on Monday.
Ramesh, a former British Open Champion, was in the lead at the halfway stage but lost his way after that. But he recovered the lost ground with a fantastic rear-guard charge to score 3-consecutive wins in the last three rounds and won the prize money of Rs 137,500.
In the final round Ramesh defeated the overnight joint leader Vikramaditya Kamble with a flawless display of high quality chess and ended the tournament with 8.5 points.
Top-seeded Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly scored a fine win against the joint overnight leader IM Rathnakaran to finish with an identical score of 8.5 points, but had to content with the second place due to an inferior tiebreak.
He however had the consolation of getting the same prize money of Rs.137,500.
Abhijeet Gupta, who became India's 17th Grandmaster in this tournament, clinched the bronze medal with a fantastic performance of eight points. He bagged the cash prize of Rs.75,000.
International Master Harika Dronavalli retained her women's title, which she had won at the last edition of this event at Mumbai. She finished seventh overall in this very strong combined event, which had 13 men Grandmasters.
By virtue of this performance she got the cash prize of Rs.40,000. WGM Tania Sachdev finished behind Harika while WGM Nisha Mohota was third.
The Indians also dominated the various age-groups categories as their players won 44 of the 45 medals available. GM Gawain Jones of England prevented the clean sweep by winning a bronze in the Under-20 category.