Favorites Edit

National Blitz Championship: Unique hat-trick evades Grandmaster Lalith Babu as he settles for silver

Tanya Kumar
202   //    12 May 2018, 12:12 IST

 M.R. Lalith Babu
M.R. Lalith Babu

What’s the story?

After being on a continuous winning spree, Grandmaster M.R. Lalith Babu has had to finally settle for silver at the recently concluded National Blitz Championship.

In case you didn’t know...

Babu has previously won the National Rapid Chess Championship in Ahmedabad last Saturday and is currently the National Champion in the classical format after winning the title in Patna last November, thus completing a ‘double’. He was well on his way of bringing in a unique hat-trick by conquering the triple national championships when he faced an upset at the hands of International Master Dinesh Kumar Sharma.

The heart of the matter

The National Blitz Championship has been thrilling from start to end. Initially, GM Aravindh Chidambaram put up a hearty contest and ended up tied with Babu after the 11th and final round. However, the Andra Pradesh born chess whiz came back to better the tie-break score, locking his place in the fight for the tournament trophy.

However, Sharma, the only person who beat him in the rapid format, was the one to emerge victorious in the National Blitz Championship and Babu ended up scoring nine out of the eleven points in Gujarat.

Also read: UK's loss is India's gain: Facing deportation, 9-year-old UK national chess champion on verge of switching to the subcontinent

What’s next?

Despite the loss in the finale of the tournament, the Grandmaster remains upbeat after securing two titles and emerging runners-up in the third. While speaking with the media, the 25-year-old explained, “Obviously, I didn’t expect to win the titles here. I was only looking for some experience as I had last played the national rapid and blitz meets back in 2008.”

Author’s Take

Even though M.R. Lalith Babu missed out on the chance of becoming a solo national champion in all three formats, his achievements have still been impressive. Hopefully, he will only improve from here and bring many laurels for the country.