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Maharashtra: Top 4 of state open chess tournament to compete at nationals in December

Maharashtra: Top 4 of state open chess tournament to compete at nationals in December

The Maharashtra State Open Selection International (FIDE) rating chess tournament was held from November 8 to 12 in Pune from which the top four players will now represent the state at the National Chess Championship, which will commence from December 9 in Sikkim.

Rutuja Bakshi, a second seed player at the tournament from Aurangabad, bagged the first position at 8,5 points with a world rating of 2054. Rishi Kadam from Mumbai secured the second place at 8 points with world rating 1702, followed by Nashik-based top seed player Vedant Pimpalkhare at the third position with 8 points and a world rating of 2080. From the city, Siddhant Tamhankar secured the fourth place at 7,5 points and world rating of 1770.

“I picked up the sport when I was six. I have played several state selection tournaments as well as women’s open selection and have represented at nationals. But it is the first time I have taken part in the state open selection tournament. The experience was great,” said Bakshi, 20.

She added that her target was to play a good game of chess and not think about the results.

“I have been playing chess for the past 10 to 12 years. I was the top seed of the event. Unfortunately, I could not finish at the podium. I lost somewhere on the fourth or fifth round, after which I went on to win five rounds straight. I knew I was the top seed but it is more challenging as you need to play against tough opponents,” said Pimpalkhare, 22.

He added, “The national tournament is one of the toughest. All the International Masters (IM) and Grand Masters (GM) will also take part in this tournament. We will get to see some legendary players. I have about 20 days to prepare myself for the tournament.”