(Photo/Harshal Bhosale)

By HARSHAL BHOSALE, Student Life Editor

The Chess Club and the Indian Graduate Student Association (IGSA) of University of Michigan-Dearborn organized a Chess tournament on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 as an unrated classical round-robin plus semi-final/final showdown. The event was open to all university students.

The event started off with 3 rounds of elimination, after which the top four would compete for the prizes. Ten excited candidates started off the first round in what looked like was going to be a very interesting competition. All five matches ended as very close encounters, spicing up the pairings for the second round.

Round two was equally thrilling and saw three candidates at the top with a 100 percent win. The third and final round, however, had a surprise draw up its sleeve between the leaders in Aniruddha Hadagali and Samip Joshi (both tied at 2.5 points). Deciding the third and fourth spots became quite tricky with Shivram Tallapalli, Vijay Sai, Omkar Kulkarni and Srikantan Natarajan tied at two points. The tie-breaker was a feisty event with Tallapalli paired and winning against Kulkarni, while Sai faced defeat in the hands of Natarajan.

Next up were the semi-finals; the pairs were drawn up and Tallapalli in white faced an undefeated Hadagali for the top-two spot. Meanwhile, Natarajan faced an equally daunting task with white against the unbeaten Joshi. The former looked very evenly matched until the middle game where a rook blunder from Tallapalli saw an eventual win for Hadagali. Meanwhile, in a drawn-out game the class was matched between Natarajan and Joshi, the latter succumbed to time pressure, landing a spot for himself in the third place play-off.

The highly anticipated final of Hadagali vs Natarajan and the feisty third place off between Tallapalli and Joshi will be held on Feb. 23, 2017 at the University Center, with a keen crowd from the Chess Club watching over the games. Chess aficionados in the university are eagerly invited!