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After Pench Safari, GM Sadhwani ?devours? another title

By Paritosh Pramanik :

TAKING a break from his busy chess schedule (online though), Grandmaster Raunak Sadhwani decided to unwind himself and went to explore the beauty of flora and fauna at Pench National Park last week. That ‘fantastic’ time spent in the jungle and even spotting a tiger, perhaps, reinvigorated Sadhwani’s desire to win more titles. Within a few days, the city’s only Grandmaster Sadhwani ‘devoured’ several top rated players and went on to clinch the Shaastra Juniors Chess Tournament. The weekend competition was organised online through Chess.com by Shaastra, IIT Madras.

Playing brilliantly, Sadhwani defeated India’s Srihari LR in Armageddon format to win the exciting summit clash. The title victory gave Sadhwani a handsome prize of Rs 10,000. From over 800 participants, top 24 players made it to the qualifying round. All the 24 participants then played two-game knock-out rounds. The time control during the knock-outs was 2 minutes with increment of one second. GM Sadhwani took total control of the competition and made it to the semis. He was unstoppable as he went on to win the semis with ease. “The time format changed for the final. We got three minutes with an increment of two seconds,” Sadhwani told ‘The Hitavada’. In the final, Sadhwani drew both the games taking the summit clash into Armageddon format where he had the chance to pick the colour of pieces.

Sadhwani decided to play with black pieces. In Armageddon, the player playing with white pieces gets five minutes on clock while his opponents gets four minutes. A confident Sadhwani decided to play with black despite getting less time. “I was confident of winning the battle hence I decided to play with black,” revealed the 14-year-old Sadhwani, who is the youngest sportsperson from State to receive Shiv Chhatrapati Award from Maharashtra Government. The ninth youngest GM of India won both his matches with black pieces and went on the clinch the title. “I really enjoyed the tournament. I thank the organisers for giving me this opportunity to play in this tournament which had some excellent players,” said Sadhwani. “I really liked the Armageddon format. I was confident of doing well in this format hence I chose black pieces,” concluded Sadhwani.