Top seed International Master P Shyaamnikhil of Tamil Nadu won the 26th National Youth Under-25 Chess Championship 2017 scoring 8.0 points from nine rounds at Jawaharlal Nehru Rajkiya Mahavidhyalaya, Port Blair, Andaman Islands. Superior tie-break gave Shyaamnikhil the title ahead of second seed FIDE Master Mitrabha Guha of West Bengal who also logged in 8 points.
The tournament ran from 13th to 19th July, 2017 in JNRM College, a venue that was facing the sea, a spectacular one by all counts. Fresh air, less cluster of traffic, hills and sea all round, made it a memorable playing experience for those who were fortunate to make it to Andamans.
Shyaamnikhil was steady right through shedding two draws on way to the title. The lone challenger to the title Mitrabha, faced Shyaamnikhil in the fifth round and a defeat in the hands of the top seed, almost put paid an end to his chances. The title should be sweet for the 24-year-old Champion, who made it in his last attempt.
The nine round Swiss tournament attracted 122 entries, the highest in the history of National Youth Championship. An Internatioal Master, two FIDE Masters and two Candidate Masters completed the line-up. The tournament also happens to be first FIDE Rated tournament in Andaman Islands which had the representation from 17 states and 4 four Union Territories.
Earlier, the tournament was inaugurated by Shri Anindo Majumdar, Chief Secretary, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Present in the dais were Shri B Eswar Rao, Chairperson, Port Blair Municipal Council, D V Sundar, Vice President, AICF, Bharat Singh Chauhan, Hon. Secretary, AICF, G Bhaskar, President, Andaman Nicobar Chess Association, Chief Arbiter R R Vasudevan and H Dinesh, Secretary, Andaman Nicobar Chess Association.
Cash prizes worth Rs 277000 (Rupees Two lakhs seventy seven thousand only) were distributed by Chief Guest, Shri Jagdish Mukhi, Lt. Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Smt Rashmi Singh, IAS, Secretary, (Industries), Andaman & Nicobar Administration respectively.
The organising committee headed by Shri G Bhaskar, President, Andaman Nicobar Chess Association set high organising standards, taking the National Championship to a new level. As soon the rounds were complete, players were shown around the beautiful Islands one landmark after the other. Hospitality was par excellence and the personal touch shown in each and every detail, is likely bring more such events to Andamans in future
Top 10 in final standings