Abhijeet Gupta wins the Caplin Masters in Hastings

by Klaus Besenthal
1/8/2024 – The Caplin Masters, part of the Hastings International Chess Congress, came to an end on Friday with a triumph for Abhijeet Gupta. The 34-year-old Indian grandmaster was the only one of 100+ participants in the event to achieve a score of 7½/9, thus getting outright victory. Pengxiang Zhang from China (7/9) came second. Behind Zhang, a group of nine players finished with 6½/9 points each. | Photo: Official website

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An exciting final round

The large group from third to eleventh place included the three French grandmasters Maxime Lagarde, Romain Edouard and Pierre Laurent-Paoli, as well as 14-year-old Indian-born Shreyas Royal, who will certainly be heard from more often in the future.

Abhijeet Gupta is not as well-known as other Indian players, but the grandmaster became Junior World Champion back in 2008. Gupta was the direct predecessor of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in this position, but he was subsequently unable to launch such a glittering career as the Frenchman.

Before the last round, Gupta was part of a leading trio that also included the American Brandon Jacobson and the Chinese Pengxiang Zhang. Zhang drew in round 9 against Deep Sengupta (India), and Gupta was thus able to take the royal road to tournament victory by defeating Jacobson in their direct duel between the tied players.

The game was particularly enjoyable for the spectators, as both players were expected to make an effort to win.

Final standings

Rg. Snr Name EloI Pts 
1 Gupta, Abhijeet 7,5
2 Zhang, Pengxiang 7
3 Lagarde, Maxime 6,5
Jacobson, Brandon 6,5
Edouard, Romain 6,5
Laurent-Paoli, Pierre 6,5
Ghasi, Ameet K 6,5
Petrov, Martin 6,5
Sengupta, Deep 6,5
Gasanov, Eldar 6,5
Royal, Shreyas 6,5
12 Mikhalevski, Victor 6
Waldhausen Gordon, Frederick 6
Bai, Xue 6
15 Sulskis, Sarunas 5,5
Wadsworth, Matthew J 5,5
Willow, Jonah B 5,5
Gallagher, Joseph G 5,5
Boyer, Mahel 5,5
Cherniaev, Alexander 5,5
Derakhshani, Borna 5,5
Unuk, Laura 5,5
Fischer, Daniel 5,5
Vestby-Ellingsen, Mads 5,5
Rudd, Jack 5,5
Bozinakis, Pavlos 5,5
Sarkar, Justin 5,5
Nielsen, Andre 5,5
Boswell, Jacob Connor 5,5
Juknis, Paulius 5,5

...105 players

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Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.
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