India clinch gold in Under-16 Chess Olympiad

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Top seeds India bagged the gold medal in the World Youth Under-16 Chess Olympiad at Gyor in Hungary in a tight contest on Monday.

India beat Turkey 3.0-1.0 in the 10th and final round to clinch the title ahead of Russia and Iran at the FIDE tournament held at the University of West Hungary.

Iran were the leaders in the penultimate round but lost their 10th and final round tie against hosts Hungary 1.5-2.5 to settle for the silver in the 54-team tournament.

In the final round, India were 0-1 down initially with International Master Diptayan Ghosh losing to Vahap Sanal, but all the other three Indians — IM Murali Karthikeyan, IM Aravindh Chithambaram and Kumaran Balaji won their respective matches to clinch the gold.

Karthikeyan beat Ali Marandi while Chithambaram and Balaji got the better of Volkan Sevgi and Tuna Tuncer respectively.

Chithambaram was the best among the Indians in the 10-round tournament, scoring eight points in the nine games he played with eight wins and a loss. Karthikeyan also scored eight points but he played 10 matches with six wins and four draws.

Ghosh secured 5.5 out of nine while Balaji won 4.5 points out of nine. WFM G K Monnisha was the fifth player in the Indian team and she collected 0.5 points from her three matches.