Gangtok, 19 Dec:

Grandmaster Aravindh Chithambaram of Tamil Nadu emerged the champion of the National Senior Chess Championship 2019 held here at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, Majhitar in East Sikkim.

Mr Chithambaram secured nine and a half points to lift the champions’ trophy.

Likewise, International Master, Akash G of Tamil Nadu stood on the second position with eight and a half points and International Master Ravi Teja S of RSPB finished on the third position with eight and a half points in the premier national chess championship of India.

The winner received a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, while the first runner-up received Rs 4 lakh and Rs 3 lakh went to the second runner-up.

In the top-ten positions were: Vaibhav Suri of Delhi on fourth position, Anurag Mhamal of Goa fifth, Lalith Babu MR of PBPB sixth, Visakh NR of Tamil Nadu seventh, Himanshu Sharma of Haryana on eighth position, Konguvel Ponnuswamy of PSPB on ninth and Kunte Abhijit of PSPB on tenth position.

A total prize money of Rs 20 lakh was handed over to the top-10 players of the championship.

The ten-day long championship was organized by Sikkim Chess Association on behalf of All India Chess Federation and was supported by the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs, Government of India.

A total of 192 top-rated players from different States, Union Territories and PSUs participated, including 19 Grandmasters and 25 International Masters.

The closing ceremony held this evening had footballer, the Hamro Sikkim Party working president, Bhaichung Bhutia, as chief guest accompanied by Secretary, Sports & Youth Affairs Department, Kuber Bhandari, as guest of honor.

In his address, Mr Bhutia congratulated SCA for conducting this premier national chess championship in such grand and successful manner for the first time not only in Sikkim but the entire north-eastern region.

He also thanked the AICF for giving Sikkim the opportunity to host such a prestigious championship.

He also reminisced about the time when he got the opportunity to interact with Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand.

Mr Bhutia shared that chess was always a major sport in the country and hoped for further growth of Indian chess.

He also congratulated the winners and participants and encouraged them to do better in the future.

Secretary, Sports & Youth Affairs Department, in turn congratulated the SCA team led by Mahendra Dhakal for making the State proud by conducting a premier chess championship here.

While addressing the participants, Mr Bhandari hailed them as future stars and ambassadors of the country and encouraged them to always remain motivated and progress with their best efforts.

Earlier, Chief Arbiter of the championship, Dharmendra Kumar, presented a brief report on the championship. He also appreciated SCA’s efforts and Mahendra Dhakal for hosting the biggest national chess championship of the country in Sikkim.

International Master, Anup Deshmukh, also shared his experience of the championship.