Thane Combatants held on their nerves in a pulsating, high pressure final to win the third edition of the Amanora Maharashtra Chess League 2015 by defeating Ahmednagar Checkers 4-2 at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana. The team rallied magnificently with talented teenagers Aravindh Chithambaram and Abhimanyu Puranik paving the way to victory with superb wins against Abhijeet Gupta and Rucha Pujari. As expected Soumya Swaminathan defeated Aakanksha Hagawane. Eesha Karavade drew against N R Vignesh and M R Lalith Babu drew against Shyam Sundar. Ratnakaran ended on the losing side against Shardul Gagare.
Thane Combatants owned by mep Infrastructure reached their second final in a row but had ended on the losing side against Jalgaon Battlers last year but this year they ensured that they stayed focussed to lift the title for the first time. Jayant Gokhale the Coach of Thane Combatants explained, ”Everything went according to our plan, Aravindh’s win was a pleasant shock. Our team also played football together and trekking up a hill today helped us bond and calm down.”
The event is sponsored by Amanora and co-sponsored by Persistent and Kelzai Volcanic Water was packed to capacity today to witness the finals.
One of India’s biggest teen talents, Aravindh Chithambaram brought home the first point for Thane Combatants by defeating former World junior Champion Abhijeet Gupta in an Irregular Opening game. The youngster craftily used time advantage, blitzing out moves and making Gupta ponder a lot. Finally Gupta blundered and Aravindh’s double rooks and knight wove a checkmating net on the 33rd turn.
A visibly beaming Aravindh who was hoisted on the shoulders of his team-mates gushed” My game plan was simple, keep playing, keep playing speedily and in the end Gupta blundered.”
In a Ruy-Lopez game between Abhimanyu Puranik and Rucha Pujari, the former won a pawn and played precisely to craft a win. ‘ It was a complicated game and the extra pawn made all the difference” said Abhimanyu who justified the faith his team put in him by retaining him in the team.
Thane Combatants had taken the easier route to the finals by defeating Pune TruMasters in a scintillating Qualifier one while Ahmednagar Checkers gathered more experience by first defeating Jalgaon Battlers in the Eliminator and later edged past Pune TruMasters to enter the finals. If it can be recalled, this third edition of the event started as a six team Round Robin league where Mumbai Movers and Pune Attackers were eliminated.