Grandmaster and Commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupta created history at the Hoogeveen International chess tournament by becoming the first player ever to win the title twice in a row in the FIDE Open that concluded at the Dutch hamlet.
Defending champion Abhijeet lived up to his top billing, and scored 7.5 points out of a possible nine to win the title solely ahead of second placed Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda.
It was an Indian sweep as the third and fourth places were also bagged by GM M R Lalith Babu and GM M Shyam Sundar respectively.
Abhijeet got off to a roaring start with four victories on the trot and then played out a draw with Lalith Babu, who kept pace with the eventual winner for a long time. With both on 6.5 points, it looked like a dead heat in the offing but in came 15-year-old Lucas Van Foreest, a talented Dutchman who spoiled the party of Lalith in the penultimate round. It was clear that Lalith over extended his chances in this game.
Abhijeet, meanwhile, drew with Sandipan and secured a half point lead going into the final round. Van Foreest yet again came up with a spirited effort but that was only enough for a draw in the end.
Sandipan handed Lalith Babu another blow to be clear second.