PUNE: Indian Grand Master Pentala Harikrishna, who has never won the National 'A' title, gave himself a present on his 25th birthday by winning the Asian individual open chess championship. Dronavalli Harika, 20, won the women's championship which was played concurrently.
Both Harikrishna (Elo 2666) and Harika (2520) tallied 6.5 points in nine Swiss League rounds in the championship being played in Iran. No. 4 seed Harikrishna clinched the issue in a three-way tie-break with China's Ya Yangyi and Vietnam's Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son. International Master (IM) and top seed Harika was a clear winner - she finished half a point ahead of Pham Le Thao Nguyen ( Vietnam).