National Engineering College State Level Chess Tournament was held at Kovilpatti on 30th and 31st December 2019. NEC State Level Chess Tournament provided free accommodation and food for both players and parents for several years.
International master Harikrishnan A Ra, the top seeded player from Chennai, V Tarun of Salem was the highest rated player in the under 14 category. There were nine rounds with a time control of 20 minutes to each player with an increment of five seconds per move for both under 18 and 14 categories. Results were on expected lines in the under 18 category, except that eighth seeded Ruban Sanjay of Virudhunagar district was held to a draw by Amarnath of Madurai in the third round. In the next round, second seeded Dhanush Raghav of Dindigul had to be content with a draw against Raghul Saro of Thanjavur. Three players Harikrishnan, Suganthan of Tirunelveli and Genish Prakash of Kanyakumari scored five consecutive wins to share the lead. Harikrishnan defeated Genish in the sixth round and the other co-leader Suganthan was beaten by Shakthi Vishal J of Thoothukudi in the sixth round. Hari established a lead of one point over his five nearest rivals, who were on 5. Hari did not relax and went on to beat Suganthan in the seventh round and he was followed one point behind by Raghul and Genish with six points each. IM Harikrishna was also merciless against Raghul Saro of Thanjavur to earn the full point in the eighth round, leaving a gap of 1.5 points over his nearest rivals Dhanush, Thiagarajan of Thanjavur and Ruban Sanjay of Virudhunagar district. He agreed for a formal in the ninth and final round to win the title effortlessly.
In the third round of the under 14 category, V Sarveshwaran of Coimbatore had to split the point with Gowtham Dhileepan S of Tirunelveli, rated 500 points below him. On the fourth board of the fourth round, higher rated Jaidambareesh NR of Kanyakumari was beaten by S Kanishka of Salem. At the conclusion of the fifth round, twelve players were leading with five full points. Top seeded Tarun drew with S Gokulakrishna of Tirupur in the sixth round and five players – K Prawin of Madurai, R Shadhursshaan and J Sajan of Virudhunagar, VS Nandhish of Coimbatore and SA Hari Hara Jagan of Tirunelveli to score 6/6. Shadhursshaan and Prawin emerged joint leaders with seven points each at the end of the seventh round. In the clash between the two leaders, Shadhursshaan prevailed over Prawin to emerge sole leader with eight points at the end of the eighth round. Shadhursshaan conceded his draw in the final round to Gowrikrishna of Tirupur to clinch the title and a cash prize of Rs.10000/-.
Sri KR Arunachalam, Correspondent, National Engineering College inaugurated the tournament. Dr.Shanmugavel Director NEC and Dr.Kalidasa Murugavel, Principal NEC distributed the prizes.