Sasikiran wins Capablanca memorial chess


Chennai: Indian Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran earned 6.5 points from 10 rounds to became the first Indian to win the 52nd Capablanca Memorial Chess tournament at Varadero, Cuba.

Sasikiran played out a quick draw against Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez of Cuba in the 10th and final round to win the title with 6.5 points ahead of top seed Vasily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, who secured 5.5 points.

The Indian drew both his games against Ivanchuk (Elo rating 2738) and won a game each against Samuel Shankland (USA), Kacper Piorun (Poland) and Emilio Cordova (Peru) in the double round-robin tournament. He remained unbeaten, posting three wins and seven draws.

The 36-year-old Sasikiran, with an Elo rating of 2669, went into the final round with half a point advantage over Ivanchuk, a six-time winner of the tournament.

Sasikiran didn’t have to go for a result as the Ukraine veteran lost his final game against Shankland.

Ivanchuk and Shankland finished equal points 5.5 to finish on second place.

The Capablanca Memorial is one of the oldest tournaments in Cuba, named after former world champion Jose Raul Capablanca.