NEW DELHI: The presence of strong Grandmasters and arrival of fresh talent gave a competitive edge to the National ‘A’ Chess Championship which concluded in Mangalore on Tuesday.
However, a few like Parimarjan Negi were able to hold their own with the Delhi GM earning a third-place finish – his best performance at the Nationals so far.
But more than a third-place finish, breaking into an elite group of Grandmasters with 2600 plus Elo rating has come as a huge relief for Negi who missed the National title by a whisker.
“I wanted to get into 2600 for some time. You can say I’ve been able to fulfill a part of my dream. But it’s not yet complete,” Negi told TOI on Wednesday.
His latest feat does come as a relief as all this while there was this disquieting awareness of a gap between promise and performance. In the past, Negi would garner some Elo points only to loose them in later events. “This is chess. If you win points, you can also loose some,” he explained.
“The performance at the Nationals would be counted and I’m losing some points again. So the 2600 will stay only for a short period,” he added.
In Mangalore, Negi was running neck-and-neck with eventual winner Surya Sekhar Ganguly till the 10th round. But a loss against the run of play to Akshayraj Kore in the 11th round punctured his dream. Against Deepan Chakraborty in the 12th and final round, Negi struggled and finally settled for a draw.
“There was time pressure. And I also made some mistakes,” said Negi, who now wants to regain some valuable points in the New Year.