Thursday, August 21, 2008
Soumya Swaminathan, India's Newest WGM
Congratulations to Soumya! Pune girl becomes state’s third woman Grandmaster Express News Service Posted online: Friday , August 22, 2008 at 12:40:27 Pune, August 21 City-based Soumya Swaminathan became the country's 11th woman Grandmaster when she made her third and final WGM norm at the Benasque Open Chess tournament at Spain last month. Soumya scored 6.5 points out of 10 rounds and was also judged the best woman player of the tournament. She is also the third WGM from Maharashtra and also from Pune, behind Swati Ghate-Teli and Eesha Karavade. Swaminathan made her first WGM norm in July last year at the Balaguer Open which was also held in Spain, while her second WGM norm came four months later at the Women's National A, held in Pune last November. She had tied for first place in the tournament, and was placed third on tiebreak, which assured her a place in the Indian team. She had also crossed the 2,300 rating mark in this year's January Rating list, which is a requirement for becoming a WGM apart from getting three WGM norms. Swaminathan played three tournaments in Spain last month, as part of the Indian junior girls team, and gained a total of 25 Fide rating points from the whole tour. Soumya had become a WIM in the same tour last year, where she had made a total of five norms, which included three WIM norms, one WGM and an IM norm. Though she started playing chess at an early age of eight, major results started coming in after 2004 when she won the U-17 National girls title. She went on to win the national junior girls title for 2005 and 2006. Last year was a fantastic run for Soumya when she not only became a WIM but also earned herself a place in the Indian Women's team and gained around 150 points in two rating lists. Soumya had infact narrowly missed her third WGM norm at the Commonwealth championship last year. At the international level, she has three bronze medals from various age group Asian championships and 1 silver medal in the junior category from the Commonwealth Chess championship 2006. Soumya was initially coached by Anjali Palande Sagar and was later trained by I M Arun Vaidya. She is currently practising in Kunte's Chess Academy where she works with other Pune players like Amruta Mokal and Eesha Karavade. The 19-year-old is a final year B.Com student in BMCC and is under scholarship from Indian Oil Corporation for the past two years. Her future tournaments include Commonwealth Chess championship, which will be held in September 2008 at Nagpur and Women's National A in December.