Bhubaneswar: Sayantan Das won the coveted Category-A title in the 1st SOA International Grand Masters Chess Festival which concluded at the Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University here on Sunday.
Kolkata-based Das, who won seven matches, drew two and lost one, scored eight points out of a possible 10 to lift the trophy and the top prize of Rs 3 lakh.
Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) asserted supremacy in the Category-A (Rating above 2000) competition with top-seed Grand Master Diptayan Ghosh finishing first runner-up with 7.5 points.
International Master Sambit Panda made Odisha proud as he finished second runner-up, also with 7.5 points. Ghosh and Panda received the second and third prize of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh respectively.
Meanwhile, Vyom Malhotra (Haryana) won in Category-C (Rating below 1600) garnering eight points from nine rounds. Ishan Sinha (West Bengal) and Aarit Kapil (Delhi) pocketed the second and third prize.
The eight-day mega chess festival, featuring competition in three categories and offering a total cash prize of Rs 35 lakh was organised by the All Odisha Chess Association (AOCA) in association with SOA. The International Chess Federation (ICF), All India Chess Federation (AICF), Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Government of Odisha supported the event.
Odisha’s Tapan Badamundi clinched the title in Category-B (Rating below 2000), which concluded earlier on January 31.
The AICF president Dr Sanjay Kapoor, who was present at the prize distribution ceremony as chief guest, said the tournament was significant as four players achieved valuable norms.
Soham Kamotra (J&K) and Vignesh Advaith Vemula (Telangana) secured IM norm while WFM Nilssen Ellen Fredericia (Denmark) claimed WIM norm.
Dr Kapoor said chess was making rapid progress in India with five players slated to participate in the Candidates Tournament.
BJD leader Srimayee Mishra graced the valedictory ceremony as guest of honour. SOA vice-chancellor Prof Pradipta Kumar Nanda, SOA dean (Students’ Welfare) Prof Jyoti Ranjan Das, AOCA president Gobinda Chandra Mohapatra, secretary Debabrata Bhatta and treasurer Shankar Prasad Mishra were also present.