National Engineering College, Kovilpatti has created a record in organising a state level tournament for the past six years, without collecting any entry fee and providing food to all players and parents. The tremendously good system to develop the chess players in and around Kovilpatti is beginning to bear fruits. The 2018 edition of the tournament held at the college on 26th and 27th December attracted more than 720 players in the under 14 and under 18 categories for boys and girls. All the active districts of Tamil Nadu had representations in the list of players. The total prize money for the tournament was Rs.1,50,000/- (one lakh and fifty thousand rupees), the first prize being Rs.10000/- in both boys’ categories.
M Pranesh of Karaikudi was the top seeded player with a rating of 2125 in the under 14 category and Shakthi Vishal of Thoothukudi, having a rating of 1884 had the honour of leading the players in the under 18 section. Pranesh won the title with great difficulty, after eight players tied for the first place with 8.0 points each. Seventeenth seeded V. Tarun of Salem also tied with three others with 7.5 points each but tiebreak favoured him to clinch the title in the under 18 category. Selvamurugan of Madurai maintained his second place, which he is keeping for the last three years. While Femil Chelladurai of Kanyakumari secured 8.0 points in the under 14 girls’ section to capture the title, S. Jayasree of Salem was the champion in the under 18 girls’ category.
Sri. Nikil Sirrarasu, international athlete distributed the prizes in the presence of Sri. Chokkalingam, Director of National Engineering College and Dr. Shanmugavel, Principal NEC.