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Narrow miss for Parimarjan Negi

July 07, 2008 20:35 IST

Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi put up a creditable show at the World Open Chess tournament but narrowly missed the title after losing to higher-rated Russian GM Evgeny Najer in a tie-break in Philadelphia.

There was a four-way tie for the top position with Negi, Najer, Slovakian GM Lubomir Ftacnik and GM Alexander Moiseenko of Ukrain, finishing with seven points apiece after the ninth and final round.

As per the rules, two players with the best progressive scores fought a playoff for the title.

The 30-year-old Najer (ELO 2670) defeated 15-year-old Negi (ELO 2529), playing with black pieces, in the Armaegeddon playoff to claim the title.

But the prize money was split among the quartet, which took home over USD 10K each.

Negi appeared a strong contender for the title after the penultimate round as he was leading with Ftacnik with 6.5/8.   

Other Indians in the fray included GMs Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Geetha Gopal and Abhijit Kunte.

Negi has hit a purple patch of late by winning the Philadelphia International open, which was played in the run up to the World Open Chess last week, and he was also the joint winner at the recent Kaupthing open in Luxembourg.

 Negi said he was satisfied about his performance in the tournament, played by a strong field of Grandmasters.

"For me, it was a great performance. The main thing was that after loosing the third round game against GM Evgeny Najer, I came back with few wins specially it was nice to beat two strong Grandmasters quite smoothly," he said after the win.

Delhi Chess Association Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan also lavished praise on Negi and tipped him to be the next best player after Viswanathan Anand from the country.

"I am very happy that Parimarjan gave an excellent performance by winning the Philadelphia Open and sharing the first place in World Open. To me he is surely second Anand in the making," he said.

"I am sure Parimarjan Negi will bring more laurels to the country. To win three big tournaments in a row is really a big achievement," said All India Chess Federation official Ravindra Dongre.

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