CANDIDATE Master (CM) Manoj Kumar successfully defended the Fiji Bitter Open Chess Championship at the Fiji School of Medicine Pasifika campus in Suva yesterday.
The schoolteacher finished the 32nd edition of the tournament unbeaten to accumulate four points overcoming arch-rivals CM Calvin Prasad and Doctor Neel Arora in the men's A grade competition.
Kumar's matches against CM Prasad and Dr Arora, respectively, ended in a draw.
CM Prasad and Dr Arora finished on three points each but the latter won the tie breaker to get the second place and CM Prasad had to settle for the third place.
In the men's B grade, Nutira Reatava finished on top after scoring six points followed by Seru Cirikalinamoli, who finished second, on five points while Sri Lankan Charaka Rajanayake was placed third on four points.
Jacqueline Masilomani created an upset after beating defending champion Isabel Nutira in tie breaker to win the women's grade title.
Both finished on four points along with Anna Mataika, who also scored four, but finished on third place.
In the secondary school grade, Martin Feussner of Rishikul Sanatan College won the first prize followed by Tevita Mataika of Marist Brothers' High School on second and Ken Fong of Yat Sen School on third.
Menash Fareed won the primary schools grade while Kelvin Prasad and Rishab Prasad came second and third, respectively.
Fiji Chess Federation president Dr Virgilio de Asa thanked the sponsors Foster's Group and its marketing manager Joe Rodan for increasing the prizemoney to $1500 this year.
"We had a very successful tournament with 26 players competing in the lower grade and 10 in the elite grade," Dr de Asa said.
"It was good to see many young players coming to compete."