Saturday, October 29, 2011

38th Indian Women's National Chess Championship

The Indian press gives lots of coverage to the Women's National Chess Championship, unlike the press in the U.S. gives to the U.S. Women's Chess Championship.  A sampling of coverage:

From The Hindu:

All eyes on Tania

Arvind Aaron
CHENNAI,October 29, 2011

Woman Grandmaster Tania Sachev, ranked 55th in the world, starts favourite in the Velammal Educational Trust National women's premier chess championship to be held here from Saturday.
The Delhi girl will be looking to wrest the crown from title holder and former World junior girls' champion Soumya Swaminathan of Pune.

Tania won her maiden title in Chennai in 2006 and went on to defend it at Pune the next year. The format will remain the same with an 11-round Swiss format deciding the champion.
Tania's main rivals will be Padmini Rout (Orissa), Eesha Karavade (Maharashtra), Mary Ann Gomes, Nisha Mohota (both West Bengal), Soumya and Bhakti Kulkarni (Goa).

As many as 30 players have confirmed participation in this 38th edition, including two AICF nominee entries: former champion Bhagyashree Thipsay of Mumbai and Pon N. Krithikha of Chennai, the reigning National junior girls' champion.

There will be six former champions in the fray: Bhagyashree, Aarthie Ramaswamy, Nisha Mohota, Swati Ghate, Tania and Soumya. They will be challenged by the young brigade, led by Padmini Rout.

The event has attracted nine WGMs, one International Master, three Woman International Masters and five Woman FIDE Masters, making it a fertile ground for completing FIDE title norms.
Tamil Nadu will miss many key players, including S. Vijayalakshmi.

Her younger sister, WGM S. Meenakshi, should be the host's best bet.

World Cup beckons

The winner of this event will qualify directly for the World Cup and this should motivate the players to give their best. The top prize will fetch Rs. 75,000 while the total prize fund is Rs. 2.5 lakh.
Chennai will be staging this event, which will run from October 29 to November 9, for the fifth time.

The games can be followed live on

Pratyusha shocks Soumya

Arvind Aaron
Chennai,October 30, 2011

Andhra Pradesh's Pratyusha shocked defending champion Soumya Swaminathan of Maharashtra in the opening round of the Velammal Educational Trust National Premier women's chess championship here on Saturday.

Pratyusha, created a protected passed pawn in the middlegame and used that same king rook pawn to down former World junior champion Soumya in 60 moves with white.

Chennai's Saranya held second-seeded Woman Grandmaster Padmini Rout of Orissa to a draw after the players repeated the position thrice in only 24 moves.

In a fluid position, where it was hard to say which king was more exposed, top-seeded Tania Sachdev spotted a brilliant combination to sacrifice her queen on move 32.

It gave the two-time champion checkmate on the next move and forced former five-time champion Bhagyashree Thipsay to resign.

On board three, third-seeded Eesha Karavade was not impressive at the start but in the end used all her experience to defeat Nandhidhaa in 54 moves from a well-timed pawn ending.

Mary Ann won a rook for knight advantage playing with the black pieces after Michelle Catherina lost the advantage of making the first move very early in the French defence.

Nisha Mohota won a black knight using her passed queen knight pawn to defeat former World under-10 champion Sahajasri in 41 moves.

The 1996 champion Swati Ghate dominated the rook and knight ending and won a 54-move encounter against Swati Mohota.

Former National under-17 champion Akshaya held WGM Kiran Mohanty in a marathon 70-move rook ending.

The results:

Tania Sachdev (Del) bt Bhagyashree Thipsay (Mah);
J. Saranya (TN) drew with Padmini Rout (Ori);
Eesha Karavade (Mah) bt Pv. Nandhidhaa (TN);
 Michelle Catherina (TN) lost to Mary Ann Gomes (WB);
Nisha Mohota (WB) bt C. Sahajasri (AP);
B. Pratyusha (AP) bt Soumya Swaminathan (Mah);
 S. Meenakshi (TN) bt S. Harini (TN);
 Pon N. Krithikha (TN) lost to Bhakti Kulkarni (Goa);
Swati Ghate (Mah) bt Swati Mohota (WB);
Shweta Gole (Mah) lost to Nimmy George (Ker);
Kiran Mohanty (Ori) drew with A. Akshaya (TN);
 Bala Kannamma (TN) lost to Aarthie Ramaswamy (TN);
C. Divyasree (AP) bt M. Mahalakshmi (TN);
Madhurima Shekhar (Del) lost to Sai Meera (TN);
 R. Bharathi (TN) bt Supriya Joshi (Mah).

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