Dhopade gets GM norm

National U-25 champion Swapnil Dhopade and Anurag Mhamal achieved their maiden GM norms, while MR Venkatesh remained on pole position with one point lead after the ninth round of the National Premier Chess Championship at Kshudiram Anushiram Kendra here on Wednesday.

Local lad Bitan Banerjee also made it memorable earning his third and final IM norm.
Sole leader Venkatesh drew against Deep Sengupta to make it seven points and was followed by Deep Sengupta, Dhopade, GN Gopal and FM Anurag Mhamal with six points each. Dhopade of Railways confirmed his maiden GM norm with a draw against Abhijit Kunte in a Bogo-Indian defence.

Results (Round IX): GM Deep Sengupta (6) drew GM MR Venkatesh (7); GM S Arun Prasad (5.5) drew GM GN Gopal (6); FM Anurag Mhamal (6) bt GM Sahaj Grover (5.5); IM Swapnil Dhopade (6) drew GM Abhijit Kunte (5.5); IM P Kartikeyan (5) lt to IM Vidit Gujarathi (6); GM Deepan Chakraborthy (5) lt to GM B Adhiban (5.5); IM Debashis Das (4.5) drew GM SP Sethuraman (4.5); IM S Satyapragyan (5) drew GM Praveen Thipsay (5); GM S Kidambi (4) lt to G Akash (5.5); GM MR Lalith Babu (4.5) drew Bitan Banerjee (4.5); GM Neelotpal Das (5) bt FM Aravindh Chithambaram (4); FM Diptayan Ghosh (4.5) drew GM Dibyendu Barua (4.5); K Praneeth Surya (5) bt IM Saptarshi Roy (4); SL Narayanan (4) lt to Sagar Shah (5); FM VAV Rajesh (3.5) lt to WGM Mary Ann Gomes (4.5); Sashikant Kutwal (3.5) lt to IM Swayams Mishra (4.5); Ram S Krishnan (3.5) drew Suvrajit Saha (3.5); Arindam Mukherjee (3) lt to IM C Praveen Kumar (4); Pratik Patil (3.5) drew BT Murali Krishnan (3.5); CRG Krishna (3.5) drew S Ravi Teja (3.5); Sohan Phadke (2) lt to ML Abhilash Reddy (4); Murali Kartikeyan (4) got a bye.

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