Kerala GM SL Narayanan finishes second in Armenian chess event

SL Narayanan
SL Narayanan during the ChessMood Open at Tsaghkadzor in Armenia on Tuesday. Photo courtesy:

On his maiden tour of Armenia, Indian GM SL Narayanan finished second in the ChessMood Open at Tsaghkadzor on Tuesday.

The native of Thiruvananthapuram, finished with 7 points from nine rounds to consolidate his position in the top-100 in Fide world rankings.

In the final round, the 23-year-old needed a win against Russian GM Aleksey Goganov to take the title. "But the opponent defended tenaciously so I can't complain much," Narayanan told Onmanorama. Goganov emerged the champion on 7.5 points after holding Narayanan to a draw in round-nine.

Georgian GM Levan Pantsulaia was placed third, also on 7 points.

R Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh, Arjun Erigaisi, Abhimanyu Puranik were the other prominent Indian GMs who took part in the tournament.

Even as he rated his overall performance as "normal", Narayanan was happy that he was consistent. "I think overall I increased by rating by 10 points, so more or less satisfied."

Narayanan, who had narrowly missed out on the podium in the Sharjah Masters last month, has improved his Elo rating to 2657. He is currently ranked fifth among Indians, behind Viswanathan Anand, Vidit Gujrathi, Pentala Harikrishna and B Adhiban.

He will complete his tour of Armenia with the Yerevan Open beginning Thursday.

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