Monday, May 27, 2024
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Sandhu, Chikka open with even par rounds in Korea
Seoul, May 2: Indian golfers Ajeetesh Sandhu and S Chikkarangappa were off to modest starts, opening with an even-par 71 each at the GS Caltex Maekyung Open on the Asian Tour. The duo was T-33 as Kyungnam Kang, one of Korea’s most experienced players, shot a bogey-free six-under-par 65 to take the lead. Among other Indians, SSP Chawrasia (72) was T-52, Shiv Kapur (76) was T-110 and Karandeep Kochhar (78) was T-133. Sandhu, starting from the first, had three birdies on the fourth, 11th and 15th holes and also dropped three bogeys. Chikka, starting on the back nine, opened with two bogeys, but did well to make up with birdies on the 13th, 15th and 18th to turn in 1-under. However, he dropped shots on the first and the third before picking a late birdie on ninth to finish even par. The 41-year-old Kang, an 11-time winner on the Korean PGA Tour, made six birdies, including four in a row from the 12th. He leads by one over compatriots Jang Yubin and Woohyun Kim, Canadian Richard T. Lee and Miguel Carballo from Argentina. Kang has been a professional for 20 years but has never won on the Asian Tour. John Catlin from the United States, chasing a record-setting third consecutive win on the Asian Tour, was three-under with three to play, without a bogey on his card till then. However, he bogeyed the final three holes for a 71. (PTI)

Chess: Gukesh takes a giant leap in World ranking and ratings
Chennai, May 2: Teenaged Grandmaster D Gukesh has entered the top ten chess players’ club in the World with an ELO rating of 2,763. Gukesh, now ranked sixth in the open category, is ahead of the seventh-ranked World Chess Champion Chinese GM Ding Liren with a rating of 2,762. What is further interesting is that another Indian chess sensation GM Arjun Erigaisi is ranked eighth in the world with a rating of 2,761. According to the International Chess Federation (FIDE), Gukesh gained twenty points after winning the FIDE Candidates Tournament that concluded in Canada recently. By virtue of winning the Candidates Tournament, Gukesh has become the challenger for the world title now held by Liren. It was a huge jump for Gukesh to be ranked sixth now as he was ranked 16th before the Candidates Tournament. “I believe Gukesh will be the slight favourite against Ding Liren. The world champion is a very good player. However, he has not been very active and his form is not at its peak,” GM Susan Polgar former women’s world champion (1996-99) told IANS when queried about the Indian’s chances of becoming a world champion. On his part, Erigaisi gained five points, as per the rating list issued by the FIDE. Perhaps this is also for the time in the FIDE list, two Indians figure in the top ten chess clubs in the world. According to FIDE, two Indian Woman Grandmasters (WGM), Priyanka Nutakki (rating 2,357) and P.V. Nandhidhaa (2,359) gained 83 and 81 points last month in different rating tournaments while GM R.Vaishali gained 14 points at the Women’s Candidates Tournament. (IANS)

Austria coach Ralf Rangnick latest to turn down Bayern Munich
Munich, May 2: Ralf Rangnick became the latest high-profile coach to turn down the vacant Bayern Munich job on Thursday. Rangnick has decided to remain in charge of Austria beyond this summer’s European Championship. “I am the Austrian team manager with all my heart. This job gives me incredible joy and I’m determined to continue successfully on the path we’ve chosen,” Rangnick said in a statement on the Austrian Football Association website. “I would like to expressly stress that this is not a rejection of FC Bayern, but a decision in favor of my team and our common goals.” Rangnick’s decision is an embarrassing blow for Bayern, whose officials had been praising the 65-year-old former Leipzig and Manchester United coach in recent days. Xabi Alonso stayed with Bayer Leverkusen, former Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann extended his contract with Germany, and Unai Emery opted to stay with Aston Villa Tuchel is leaving Bayern at the end of the season following a mutual agreement in February to end their collaboration after a run of three games without a win. (AP)

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