Akshayraj Kore wins Cannes; becomes Grandmaster

Akshayraj Kore became the latest Indian chess player to achieve the Grandmaster title after he came up with a career-best rating performance to win the ‘A’ category of Cannes Festival that concluded in the French city famous for its film carnival.
It turned out to be a grand double for the Pune-based International Master, who registered his fist victory in an international tournament.
Just a few days before the tournament, Kore had made his third and final norm at the Rochefort tournament in France and the fourth inconsequential norm here came as an added bonus.
Going in to the final round as the sole leader on 6.5 points, Kore defeated International Master Alexander Donchenko of Germany to complete his best ever tournament performance.
Kore finished with a rating performance of 2743 points, way above his modest 2455 ELO rating at the start of the tournament.
The results at Rochefort and Cannes will take the Indian past the 2500 rating barrier and he is now set to become the next Grandmaster of the country and second from his city after Abhijit Kunte.
After a draw in the second round, he came up with three victories against Grandmasters on the trot.
Jean-Marc Degraev of France was the first to lose and thereafter, Safarli Eltaj of Azerbaijan and Russian Alexander Dobrov followed suit.
A draw against compatriot Prasanna Raghuram Rao did not dent his chances as he finished the event with a dash defeating French GM Glenn Flear and Donchecnko for a clear first place.
“This is indeed a flattering result and I am very pleased to have completed the GM title”, said a beaming Kore from Cannes. (PTI)


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