Indian Grandmaster Aravindh Chithambaram emerged the winner in the 41st Villa De Benasque International Chess Open after edging Armenia's Robert Hovhannisyan and compatriot Raunak Sadhwani on the basis of tie-break score here.
Chithambaram, Hovhannisyan and Sadhwani finished on eight points from 10 rounds along with seven others. Chithambaram, a former national champion, took the top prize on the basis of a superior tie-break score. Sadhwani finished in third place behind the Armenian.
Chithambaram started the event with four straight wins before settling for draws in the next two rounds. A defeat at the hands of Czech Republic GM Vojtech Plat in the eighth round came as a minor blip before the 22-year-old Chithambaram finished strongly by posting wins in the last two rounds over Marcos Lianes Garcia (Spain) and Armenian GM Karen Movsziszian. The 17-year-old Sadhwani remained unbeaten through the 10 rounds, scoring six wins to go with four draws. An inferior tie-break score hurt his chances of claiming the top spot.
Chithambaram's coach R B Ramesh praised his ward for the title. "Congratulations to Aravindh Chithambaram for winning the Benasque open 2022! Congratulations to @sadhwani2005 as well for joint first and coming third on tie break," Ramesh tweeted.