Phoobalan is RSC chess champion

A chain of drawn games in the last round saw top seed Phoobalan P. of Tamil Nadu outwit overnight leaders Kunal M. and Nishvin J. for the title at the RSC international rating chess tournament here on Friday.
Phoobalan, who had 6.5 points from eight rounds, was half-a-point behind last year’s champion Kunal and Kanyakumari boy Nishvin, on Thursday. But the ICF player defeated Madhusoodanan K. R. and drew with Gireesh P. V. to finish on 8 points.
Though Nishvin, Madurai lad Kunal and Karnataka’s Santosh Kashyap also ended up on 8 points, Phoobalan was credited his maiden RSC title based on better Buchholz score (average).
Apparently, moving into the last round, there were more than four candidates eligible for the title, but interestingly, the four top boards witnessed draws.
Kunal drew with Sreejith G. S., Nishvin and O. T. Anilkumar drew and Unas K. A. and Ganesh R. also split points. Santosh grabbed a crucial win against U. C. Mohanan to leave four players on 8 points each.
Final standings (top five): 1. Phoobalan (8), 2. Nishvin J. (8), 3. Kunal M. (8), 4. Santosh Kashyap (8), 5. Gireesh P. V. (7.5)

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