A YOUNG upstart won the Gibraltar International Chess Festival for the second year running.

David Paravyan recorded his first ever major tournament victory despite being seeded 22nd in the ten round Masters competition.

The Russian rising star told the Olive Press he was ‘really happy’ to get the win, with the £30,000 top prize going a long way to cover his expenses throughout the rest of the chess season.

The 21-year-old beat the second best Chinese chess player Hao Wang to take the event win in a thrilling play-off final.

After Paravyan won the first game of the final, Wang looked set to win the second game but with timing running out was unable to make the most of a promising position.

In the end both players had to settle for a draw in the second game, watched eagerly by the rest of the players at Caleta Hotel where the event was held.

The final came about when four players who had won 7.5 points each were pooled together in the semi-final play-offs.

Chinese player Tan Zhongyi was the winner of the Women’s prize with her seven point haul in the Master contest fetching her a £20,000 first prize.

Despite a late charge, top seed Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had to settle for sixth place in the end, with half a points over best Brit Michael Adams.

The Gibraltar International Chess Festival has been voted top open tournament of the year for the last decade.

Look out for an exclusive interview with Paravyan in our print edition out next week.


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