Monday, November 29, 2010

WGm Soumya Swaminathan's Time to Shine

From The Times of India:
Chance for junior champ Soumya to shine
Amit Karmarkar, TNN, Nov 30, 2010, 01.52am IST

PUNE: When Soumya Swaminathan won the World junior girls chess title last year in Argentina in a somewhat depleted field, she got two well-earned gifts apart from three trophies.

The first one was a berth in Corus 'C' tournament at Wijk aan Zee (The Netherlands) in January this year. She didn't make the most of it and tallied just three points in 13 rounds to finish last.

The second one will unfold in Antakya ( Turkey) from December 4 when she takes on world No. 16 Polish GM Monika Socko in the first round of the Women's World chess championship (knockout format).

"The World junior title was fantastic for me," said the 21-year-old International Master (IM) norm holder and the winner of this year's Sahara Young Female Achiever of the Year award. "It gave me recognition and confidence. I have become more serious about the game. Corus influenced me a lot. Just looking at the top players' preparation and psychology was a great experience.

"I had had some bad results. But I was not sure of my calculations on the board then. But now I have realised the importance of calmness," she said. "I played National 'B' because I was getting bored at home."

The second year law student seems to be good at multi-tasking. She had one eye on her ailing grandmother's room, trying to absorb the doctor's instructions. At the same time, she was trying to make the mediaperson comfortable.

"For a change, she didn't say she would be taking one match at a time."I have seen the entire draw. If I win the first round, I play the winner of Zhu Chen (former World champion) and Nafisa Muminova. "My first match would quite likely go to tie-break (rapid, blitz etc)," she said without fear of being politically incorrect.

"I would be quite happy with a draw. She's (Monika Socko) a GM. You feel more motivated against a better player. I get quite tense when I don't know an opponent. Of course I have prepared for all my opponents."

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