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Kateryna Lahno lifts the AMITY GRANDMASTER CHALLENGE trophy

Woman Grandmaster Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine emerged winner in the Amity Grandmaster Challenge, scoring a 11-7 victory over world's youngest Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi at Russian Cultural Centre, here on Monday. The win fetched Kateryna Rs.300000 (Rupees Three lakhs only) while the runner-up Pariamarjan got Rs.200000 (Rupees Two lakhs) as prize money apart from a glittering trophy. The prizes were awarded by Dr. Ashok Chauhan, Founder President AKC group pf Companies and Dr. (Mrs.) Amita Chauhan, Chairperson, Amity International Schools. Mr. Atul Chauhan, Chancellor, Amity University and Mr. Bharat Singh Chauhan, Hon. Secretary Delhi Chess Association were also present during the prize giving ceremony.

Kateryna was a worthy winner on all counts as she defeated Parimarjan in all the three time controls. The Ukrainian won the FIDE time control 3.5-2.5, Rapid by 4-2 and finally the blitz by 3.5-.2.5 to come up triumphs in the first edition of the event. More good news poured in for the chess buffs soon after the event as Amity announced that the second Amity Grandmasters Challenge will be held sometime next year.

In the set of six blitz games played on the third and final phase of the event, Kateryna went one-up on Parimarjan soon after the first game and won the third one also to seal a comfortable victory in the match. For the records, Kateryna won two, lost one and drew three blitz games for her overall victory.

Starting the day with a 7.5-4.5 score, Kateryna never relinquished her vice like grip on the match. She dictated the terms right away, putting Sunday’s double loss behind her. Continuing their argument in Ruy Lopez theory, the first Kateryna-Parimarjan went through expected lines, but an over enthusiastic Parimarjan gave up too much material right into the middle game and lost the game in 34 moves.

Needing just a win to clinch the title, Kateryna played it cool in the Sicilian Kalashnikov as white in the next game, survived a few threats in the double rook and pawn ending and was happy to take the required draw to reach an impregnable nine points. Parimarjan had his chances in the third game with his back to the wall but the 13-year old crumbled under pressure giving Kateryna another victory. The remaining three games were of academic interest and Parimarjan impressed scoring 2-1 in them.

In a post match brief, Kateryna said, "Parimarjan was quite strong, and I had to work hard for the victory". In the prize giving Dr. Ashok K. Chauhan, Founder President, R.B.E.F. assured that Amity Group would continue to promote chess in a big way. “This event we are sure has propelled many young players to take up the game, chess brings in some very fine qualities in a human being, yes we will continue to support the game in a bigger manner”, said Dr. Chauhan.

Parimarjan was not much perturbed after the loss, “ this is my first match and a great learning experience, I hope to come out stronger after this event”, said Parimarjan who is next going to play in the Corus Grandmaster chess tournament in Wijk Ann Zee, the Netherlands.

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