Abhijeet, Debashish finish in top-10 in Gibraltar
Gibraltar, Feb 2 (PTI) Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta ended in the ninth position, just head of compatriot Debashish Das, as for the first time two Indians finished in top-10 at the Super Open, here.
Top seed Levon Aronian of Armenia won the title defeating arch-rival Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the tiebreaker that ensued after a seven-way tie for the top spot on 7.5 points.
Three times winner Hikaru Nakamura of United States and Richard Rapport of Hungary were the other two in top four who were eliminated in the semi-final tiebreaker and Vachier- Lagrave found Aronian irresistible in the finals.
After the seven-way tie, David Howell from England finished ninth with his best performance rating among seven pointers.
Abhijeet Gupta, former world junior champion, settled for a draw with Duda Jan-Krzysztof of Poland in the 10th and final round while Debashish capped his brilliant performance with a win over higher-ranked Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda.
It is first time in 16-years history of this richest Open in the world when two Indians finished in top-10.
Gupta was awarded the highest prize among the players rated till 2650 and the Commonwealth champion, who briefly went out of the 2600 rating bracket heaved a sigh of relief after a few below-par performances recently.
"I think I was in much better shape here than anywhere else in the last few months. I had been bleeding rating points but when I reached here my focus was quite good, especially as this is one event wherein the top guys play," said Gupta.
The Indian termed his victory against Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine as his best effort in the tournament.
"I think the games where I had to defend like against Boris Gelfand (Israel) were also important but I felt the win against someone from a class of Ivanchuk will qualify as my best effort here any day, not easy, he has been in the world elite for as far as I can remember," he said.
Debashish Das also played the tournament of his life and is gaining a huge 32 points to his present rating. The Odisha Grandmaster was on target in his game against Chanda in the final round.
Apart from Gupta and Das, Prithu Gupta became an International Master here and also gained a maiden Grandmaster norm while another teenager Raunak Sadhwani also got his International Master norm.
Important and Indian results final round (Indians unless specified): Levon Aronian (Arm, 7.5) beat Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 7.5); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 7.5) drew with Richard Rapport (Hun, 7.5); Le Quang Liem (Vie, 7.5) beat Daniil Dubov (Rus, 7); Nikita Vitiugov (Rus, 7.5) beat Mikhail Antipov (Rus, 6.5); Abhijeet Gupta (7) drew with Duda Jan- Krzysztof (Pol, 7); S P Sethuraman (7) beat Perez Ponsa Federico (Arg, 6); Nihal Sarin (6.5) drew with Svane Rasmus (Ger, 6.5); Debashis Das (7) beat Sandipan Chanda (6); Pavel Tregubov (Rus, 6.5); drew with Swapnil S. Dhopade (6.5); S L Narayanan (7) beat Valentina Gunina (Rus, 6); Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr, 5.5) lost to P Harikrishna (6.5); Marin Bosiocic (Cro, 6.5) beat Shardul Gagare (5.5); Gledura Benjamin (Hun, 6.5) beat R Praggnanandhaa (5.5); G N Gopal (6.5) beat Julio Suarez Gomez (Esp, 5.5); Sergey Grigoriants (Rus, 5.5) lost to Prasanna Raghuram Rao (6.5); Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus, 5.5) lost to M R Venkatesh (6.5); Grigory Kaidanov (Usa, 6.5) beat Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh (5.5); Prithu Gupta (5.5) lost to M R Lalith Babu (6.5); Papp Gabor (Hun, 6) beat Raja Harshit (5); Nitzan Steinberg (Isr, 5.5) drew with Hemant Sharma (5.5); Stefan Docx (Bel, 6) beat P V Nandhidhaa (5); Padmini Rout (4.5) lost to Noel Studer (Sui, 5.5); Daniel Cawdery (Rsa, 5.5) beat Raunak Sadhwani (4.5); Serarols Mabras Bernat (Esp, 4.5) lost to Swayams Mishra (5.5); Kenny Solomon (Rsa, 5.5) beat Nisha Mohota (4.5); Josefine Heinemann (Ger, 4.5) drew with Tejaswini Sagar (4.5); Shalmali Gagare (4) beat Andy Baert (Bel, 3)