Aravindh comes up short after a last-round loss
After Lalit found it increasingly difficult to hold his nerve in the final round against Swapnil Dhopade and drew in just 14 moves by repeating moves, Debashis pushed a more desperate Aravindh Chithambaram to defeat in 28 moves.
With Aravindh’s defeat, Lalit deservedly claimed honours that came with ₹2.50 lakh and an unusually-designed wooden trophy.
For the record, fourth seed Lalit finished the 13-round event with nine points, half-a-point ahead of fellow overnight leader Aravindh. The effort was worth ₹1.40 lakh to the second seed.
Top seed M. Karthikeyan, looking for a hat-trick of National titles, topped a three-way tie for the third place and received ₹1 lakh. The victorious duo of Debashis and S. L. Narayanan followed Karthikeyan.
The final day also saw former champion Abhijit Kunte sign off with a victory before Himanshu Sharma scored his first triumph.