In Rajpara, Gujarat gets 2nd grandmaster norm
Ajit Bezbaruah, TNN | Mar 4, 2014, 08.01 AM IST

RAJKOT: Ankit Rajpara, 20, became the second grandmaster (GM) from Gujarat after Tejas Bakreearned the title a decade ago. Hailing from Mehsana in north Gujarat, Rajpara, who scored his second GM norm in Austria last week, finished on top in the XXVIII Chess Festival in Cannes with seven points from 12 rounds. He was tied with Argentine Fernando Peralta (2613) but emerged on top with a better tie-break score.

Eighteen grandmasters and 19 international masters were in the fray in this tournament. After the victory of Ashkaray Kore last year, Rajpara became the second Indian and the first Gujarati to win this title. While doing so he got his third GM norm and also crossed the 2500 Elo points required to become a GM. Rajpara now has 2,506 points.

Rajpara remained unbeaten in both the tournaments, in Graz (Austria) and in Cannes, and his best result came when he defeated the higher ranked Peralata in the third round.

Talking to TOI from Cannes, Rajpara said, “When I started playing chess I never really thought that I would come this far. My parents sacrificed a lot for me and were always there to support me. I owe a lot to them for what I have achieved in chess today.”

And how did he celebrate his success? “I am staying in an apartment here with a family and went to an Indian restaurant for dinner. That was all for celebration,” added Rajpara.

“I am thrilled to hear the news. It has been a decade since I became a GM. So this is a positive development for chess in Gujarat,” said Bakre.


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