Jha wins Asian title, qualifies for World Cup

In the final round encounter, Jha overcame Ashraf Ahmed of the Maldives without much struggle.

Jha, who won the event without losing a single game, scored 10 points out of possible 12 to emerge winner at the Airport Authority of India Club. He also earned his second Grandmaster norm in the process.

Jha, who is rated ELO 2459, gained 20 ELO points from along with the winner’s purse of $ 1000. “It’s the best thing to have ever happened to me in chess,” said the 33-year-old Jha and summed up his feelings as “I am feeling on top of the world”.

The World Cup will be held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia from November 20 to December 15. Meanwhile, another title contender International Master K Rathnakaran succumbed under pressure in the last round against Tunveer Gillani of Pakistan.

Veteran Grandmaster Praveen Thipsay finished second with 9.5 points beating HLM Hapuarachchi of Sri Lanka in the final round encounter. Rathnakaran and second seed Deepan Chakkravarthy tied for third spot but better tie-break score helped Rathanakran to take the third spot with nine points.

Important results (round 12, Indians otherwise stated)
Men: Ziaur Rahman (Ban, 8) drew Neelotpal Das (8); Hapurachchi HLM (SL, 3) lt to Praveen Thipsay (9.5); Tunveer Gillani (Pak, 6) bt K Rathnakran (9); Sriram Jha (10) bt Ahmed Ashraf (Mal, 1); Deepan Chakkravarthy (9) got bye.

Standings: Sriram Jha, 1; Praveen Thipsay, 2; K Rathnakaran, 3; Deepan C, 4; Neelotpal Das, 5; Ziaur Rahman (Ban) 6.

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