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Negi falls short of GM norm

NEW DELHI: Parimarjan Negi fell at the threshold of realising his dreams becoming a Grandmaster in the San Marino International Open chess tournament when he lost the ninth and final round to Moldova's GM Dmitry Svetushkin in San Marino, Italy, on Sunday.

The 13-year-old International Master needed to win with black pieces to become the country's youngest Grandmaster. Eventually, with five points from nine rounds, the 50th seeded Negi slipped to the 48th spot in the final ranking of 148 players.

Creditably, the youngster whose rating is 2445 performed at 2519 to gain valuable rating points in a tough field. Negi, due to play some more events in Europe, will be looking for norm-making opportunities in the coming weeks.

S. Vijayalakshmi also performed above her seeding of 41 to take the 30th spot. She tallied 5.5 points after beating Argentine Woman GM Carolina Lujan in the final round. Vijayalakshmi's sister Meenakshi finished 74th with an aggregate of 4.5 points. The 89th seed Meenakshi defeated Italy's Marco Venturino in the final round.

Vadim Milov of Switzerland won the title with 7.5 points, ahead of USA's Varuzhan Akobian, on superior tie-break score.

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