Chess is finally back on the board – the physical one, that is.

And in one of the first tournaments held after the coronavirus-induced lockdown, during which several online events have been played, an Indian has emerged champion.

Leo Luke Mendonca won the Balaton Chess Festival tournament (open section) in Hungary with a round to spare. The 14-year-old Goan International Master, who has been stranded in the European country for the last three months, finished with 8.5 points from nine rounds.

The top seed won eight out of his nine games and drew the other one. The fine show should lift his spirit, as his wait for the return flight to India continues.

He had flown to Budapest to play in the First Saturday tournament in March. He was scheduled to return to India later that month, but his plans went awry when the commercial passenger flights to the country were suspended.

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