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National Women's 2019 R02+03: A juxtaposition of gala and tussle

by Satanick Mukhuty - 21/07/2019

The second day of the 46th National Women Chess Championship 2019 saw celebration amidst struggle. It was a hectic double rounds day with the second round starting at 9 a.m and the third at 4 p.m but the players and organizers still managed to find time for International Chess Day celebration. Speaking of the games, round-2 gave quite a few surprising results, the most notable among them being  WCM Jyothsna L's victory with black pieces over WIM Srija Seshadri. In the same round Nandhini Saripalli also pulled off an upset by beating WIM Pratyusha Bodda. Going into the third round, top-seed IM Soumya Swaminathan was held to a draw by WIM Harshita Guddanti, while the defending Champion Bhakti Kulkarni registered yet another victory by defeating WFM Saranya J. In this report we bring you photos, analyses, and more.

It was a hectic double rounds day at the 46th National Women's Championship but the players still managed to celebrate World Chess Day | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

WCM Jyothsna L. played a nice game with Black pieces to beat WIM Srija Seshadri, who is more than 300 points higher rated than her | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran 

In the second round of 46th National Women Chess Championship 2019 India's recently minted WGM Srija Seshadri of Tamil Nadu suffered a shocking defeat in the hands of state-mate and WCM Jyothsna L. The latter had the Black pieces and chose the French defense against her opponent's king's pawn opening. The critical mistake of the game came as early as move 11 which gave Black a serious material advantage. On the 17th move however, Srija had an opportunity to make a comeback, but she missed her chance!

Srija Seshadri - Jyothsna L., Round 2


Position after 8...f6: Black wastes no time to challenge White's structure in the center.

Reinforcing the center with 9.f4 is an option here but in the game White adopted a more ambitious plan and went 9.Nf4 with the idea of going Qh5+ next. 9...Nxd4 10.Qh5+ Ke7 was played and here White made the move 11.0-0

White gives up a second pawn on e5 for an attack on the kingside. But is 11.0-0 the best continuation? 

A move like 11.Be3 would have been fine, after 11...fxe5 12.Bxd4 exd4 and only now 13.0-0 gives White sufficient compensation for the two pawns as Black's pawns and pieces are in a mess. But 11.0-0? didn't look like the greatest of moves, after 11...Nxe5 12.Nc3 Black didn't have much problems to solve. For instance, with 12...Nxd3 13.Nxd3 g6 14.Qd1 Kf7 the king gets a safe spot on f7 and the pieces find ways to get into the game. However, Jyothsna didn't opt for this continuation and the play went 12...Nc6 13.Re1 Qe8 14.Qh4 Kf7 15.Bxh7 instead. White recovered a pawn, but was this enough?

Position after 15.Bxh7: What is your assessment of this position?

The game followed 15...Bc5 16.b4 and Black pushed 16...g5? - a mistake that gives White the chance to come back into the game. A move like 16...Bd6 would have been good enough to preserve the advantage - 17.Qh5+ Ke7 18.Qxe8 Kxe8 and Black has the edge.

Position after 16...g5: Think about this position for sometime and try to calculate out the possibilities that can get White back into the game.

The correct continuation is 17.Qh5+ Kg7 18.Qxe8+ Rxe8 19. Nh5+ Kxh7 20. Nxf6+ (fork) Kg6 21.Nxe8 and now it looks like White is up an exchange but after 21...Bd4 22.Bd2 Nc4 Black is actually able to pick up another piece and in the resulting position Black, with two minor pieces against a rook, is still better but White has sufficient chances. In the game however, Srija wasn't able to find this and played 17.Qh6 instead. After 17...Bxf2+ 18.Kxf2 gxf4 Jyothsna went onto win the game fairly easily.  The full game with annotations is presented below:

Saranya Y (1959), who recently won the second place at Goa GM B-category, held IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman (2357) to a draw in what was a 108 moves long game | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran


Nandhini Saripalli (1933) pulled off another shocker for the day by beating WIM Pratyusha Bodda (2265) | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Another upset came in the form of Nandhini Saripalli defeating WIM Pratyusha Bodda. Nandhini had the White pieces and the game began with an Italian. The following position was reached after move 15.

Nandhini Saripalli - Pratyusha Bodda, Round 2

Position after 15.Nxg6: White has just taken a bishop on g6. How should Black recapture?

15...fxg6 is not possible because then White has 16.Nxe4 and Black can't recapture on e4 because the d5 pawn is pinned. After 16...cxb5 17.Nd6 White is clearly better. The simple 15...Nxg6 would have been the best move but Pratyusha went for the slightly worse 15...hxg6 ruining her kingside pawn-structure. The game followed 16.Bd3 Nf5 17.Bxe4 dxe4 18.0-0-0 Nxd4 19. Qc4 c5 20. Nxe4 and White's position started to look good with the knight eying the nice d6 square.

Position after 20.Nxe4: White wants to jump on the d6 square and push f4 seizing more space. 

Next, Black decided to go for a liquidation and went 20...Qe7 21.f4 Rfd8 22.Kb1 Qe6 23.Qxe6 Nxe6 24.h4 c4 25.Bxb6 axb6, now the following position was all White's to take.

Black's kingside is hemmed in by White's nice f4-e5 structure. The e4 knight too is prepared to jump on d6 and pick up some pawns on the queenside, after which the a and b pawns will be ready to roll out!

Position after 35...Nh5: White has achieved the desired plan, now there's no stopping the a-pawn. Not long after Black had to call it a day.

WFM Sanskriti Goyal (1948) held WGM Mary Ann Gomes (2303) to a draw with the White pieces. Sanskriti played the Nimzo-Larsen, starting with 1.b3 and going for a double fianchetto, something that Mary also likes to do with the white pieces! | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran 

Dhyana Patel (1900) drew WIM Mahalakshmi M. (2227) playing the black side of Grunfeld defense | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran 

Results of round 2

Bo.No.NameRtgClub/CityPts. ResultPts. NameRtgClub/CityNo.
11WGMSoumya Swaminathan 2402PSPB1 1 - 01 Sandhya G 1975AP31
230Potluri Saye Srreezza 1999TEL1 0 - 11 WGMKulkarni Bhakti 2388AI2
33WIMDivya Deshmukh 2373MAH1 1 - 01 Bakshi Rutuja 1958MAH33
432Saranya Y 1959TN1 ½ - ½1 IMVijayalakshmi Subbaraman 2357AI4
55WIMSrija Seshadri 2306TN1 0 - 11 WCMJyothsna L 1939TN35
634WFMSanskriti Goyal 1948UP1 ½ - ½1 WGMGomes Mary Ann 2303PSPB6
736Nandhini Saripalli 1933GOA1 1 - 01 WIMPratyusha Bodda 2265AP8
89WIMNandhidhaa P V 2259TN1 1 - 01 Toshali V 1920AP37
938WFMMeghna C H 1903RSPB1 0 - 11 WIMVantika Agrawal 2243DEL10
1011WIMMahalakshmi M 2227RSPB1 ½ - ½1 WFMDhyana Patel 1900GUJ39
1140Pandey Srishti 1882MAH1 0 - 11 WIMMichelle Catherina P 2226TN12
1213IMMohota Nisha 2221PSPB1 1 - 01 WFMPotluri Supreetha 1873AP41
1342Shetye Siddhali 1837MAH1 ½ - ½1 Priyanka K 2217TN14
1443Sunyuktha C M N 1815TN1 1 - 01 WCMSharma Isha 2188KAR16
1544Singh Neha 1809BIH1 0 - 11 WGMMeenakshi Subbaraman 2163AI18
1619WIMParnali S Dharia 2145MAH1 0 - 11 Sunyasakta Satpathy 1801ODI45
1746Smaraki Mohanty 1773ODI1 0 - 11 WFMJain Nityata 2135MP20
1821WIMThipsay Bagyashree Sathe 2093MAH1 1 - 01 Sheena E. 1763KER47
1922WIMVarshini V 2087TN1 ½ - ½1 Shah Vishwa 1734MAH49
2023WIMHarshita Guddanti 2078AP1 1 - 01 Boramanikar Tanisha S 1720MAH51

Standings after round 2

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 w-we
11WGMSoumya SwaminathanIND2402PSPB2,00,01,02,02,002-0,21
9WIMNandhidhaa P VIND2259TN2,00,01,02,02,0020,39
10WIMVantika AgrawalIND2243DEL2,00,01,02,02,0020,45
12WIMMichelle Catherina PIND2226TN2,00,01,02,02,002-0,06
13IMMohota NishaIND2221PSPB2,00,01,02,02,002-0,15
18WGMMeenakshi SubbaramanIND2163AI2,00,01,02,02,002-0,10
20WFMJain NityataIND2135MP2,00,01,02,02,0020,31
21WIMThipsay Bagyashree SatheIND2093MAH2,00,01,02,02,0020,35
23WIMHarshita GuddantiIND2078AP2,00,01,02,02,0020,55
25WFMSaranya JIND2067TN2,00,01,02,02,0020,03
26WGMKiran Manisha MohantyIND2054LIC2,00,01,02,02,0020,58
27Bala Kannamma PIND2051TN2,00,01,02,02,002-0,09
132WGMKulkarni BhaktiIND2388AI2,00,01,01,51,5020,30
143WIMDivya DeshmukhIND2373MAH2,00,01,01,01,002-0,21
28WGMRamaswamy AarthieIND2020AI2,00,01,01,01,0020,42
29Meenal GuptaIND2004J&K2,00,01,01,01,0020,03
35WCMJyothsna LIND1939TN2,00,01,01,01,0021,32
36Nandhini SaripalliIND1933GOA2,00,01,01,01,0021,25
43Sunyuktha C M NIND1815TN2,00,01,01,01,0020,85
45Sunyasakta SatpathyIND1801ODI2,00,01,01,01,0020,73

Round 3 - Five players take lead with 3.0/3

After the third round five players - WIM Nandhidhaa P V, WIM Vantika Agrawal, WFM Nityata Jain, WIM Bhagyashree Sathe Thipsay, and WGM Bhakti Kulkarni - have emerged as leaders with 3.0/3 each. Surprising result came from first board where WIM Harshita Guddanti held top-seed IM Soumya Swaminathan to a draw.

WIM Harshita Guddanti played a solid game with the White pieces to hold the top-seed of the event to a draw. Did you know Harshita is a former national under-15 champion? | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran    

IM Bhakti Kulkarni, the defending champion of the event, has emerged as one of the leaders with 3.0/3. In the third round she beat WFM Saranya J with the white pieces | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Bhakti Kulkarni - Saranya J, Round 3

Position after 42.Qd3: Black went 42...Nc7 here, can you do better?

The best way to offer resistance would have been 42...Qc1+ 43.Kh2 Ne3, but 42...Nc7 is a mistake as now White has 43.Bd2 Qe5 44.Qc4+

Position after 44.Qc4+ - Now the h4 pawn is falling.

Position after 52.Qxf4 - White picked up another pawn, Black resigned after just four moves from here

Playing Caro-Kann with the black pieces WIM Bhagyashree Sathe Thipsay won against Sunyasakta Satpathy. It's quite amazing to see Bhagyahsree fighting with the youngsters at the age of 58.| Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

WIM Nandhidhaa P V won against Meenal Gupta playing a Sicilian Paulsen with black pieces. Nandhidhaa who recently scored an IM norm at the Paracin Chess Festival is definitely one of the favourites to win the title here. | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Results of round 3

Bo.No.NameRtgClub/CityPts. ResultPts. NameRtgClub/CityNo.
123WIMHarshita Guddanti 2078AP2 ½ - ½2 WGMSoumya Swaminathan 2402PSPB1
22WGMKulkarni Bhakti 2388AI2 1 - 02 WFMSaranya J 2067TN25
326WGMKiran Manisha Mohanty 2054LIC2 ½ - ½2 WIMDivya Deshmukh 2373MAH3
429Meenal Gupta 2004J&K2 0 - 12 WIMNandhidhaa P V 2259TN9
510WIMVantika Agrawal 2243DEL2 1 - 02 Bala Kannamma P 2051TN27
612WIMMichelle Catherina P 2226TN2 ½ - ½2 WGMRamaswamy Aarthie 2020AI28
735WCMJyothsna L 1939TN2 ½ - ½2 IMMohota Nisha 2221PSPB13
818WGMMeenakshi Subbaraman 2163AI2 ½ - ½2 Nandhini Saripalli 1933GOA36
920WFMJain Nityata 2135MP2 1 - 02 Sunyuktha C M N 1815TN43
1045Sunyasakta Satpathy 1801ODI2 0 - 12 WIMThipsay Bagyashree Sathe 2093MAH21
114IMVijayalakshmi Subbaraman 2357AI 1 - 0 WFMSanskriti Goyal 1948UP34
126WGMGomes Mary Ann 2303PSPB ½ - ½ Saranya Y 1959TN32
1349Shah Vishwa 1734MAH 0 - 1 WIMMahalakshmi M 2227RSPB11
1414Priyanka K 2217TN 1 - 0 Thamaraiselvi P 1752TN48
1539WFMDhyana Patel 1900GUJ ½ - ½ WIMVarshini V 2087TN22
1624WCMMrudul Dehankar 2074MAH 1 - 0 Shetye Siddhali 1837MAH42
1759Senthamizh Yazhini S 1622TN1 0 - 11 WIMSrija Seshadri 2306TN5
1860Mudaliar Nandini 1609GUJ1 0 - 11 WIMPriyanka Nutakki 2293AP7
198WIMPratyusha Bodda 2265AP1 1 - 01 Panda Miracle 1605ODI62
2061Aishwarya 1607DEL1 0 - 11 WGMSwati Ghate 2192LIC15

Standings after round 3

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 w-we
19WIMNandhidhaa P VIND2259TN3,00,04,05,05,0030,39
10WIMVantika AgrawalIND2243DEL3,00,04,05,05,0030,45
20WFMJain NityataIND2135MP3,00,04,05,05,0030,31
21WIMThipsay Bagyashree SatheIND2093MAH3,00,04,05,05,0030,35
52WGMKulkarni BhaktiIND2388AI3,00,04,04,54,5030,30
61WGMSoumya SwaminathanIND2402PSPB2,50,04,55,54,252-0,21
3WIMDivya DeshmukhIND2373MAH2,50,04,55,54,252-0,21
12WIMMichelle Catherina PIND2226TN2,50,04,55,54,252-0,06
13IMMohota NishaIND2221PSPB2,50,04,55,54,252-0,15
18WGMMeenakshi SubbaramanIND2163AI2,50,04,55,54,252-0,10
23WIMHarshita GuddantiIND2078AP2,50,04,55,54,2520,55
26WGMKiran Manisha MohantyIND2054LIC2,50,04,55,54,2520,58
35WCMJyothsna LIND1939TN2,50,04,55,54,2521,32
36Nandhini SaripalliIND1933GOA2,50,04,55,54,2521,25
154IMVijayalakshmi SubbaramanIND2357AI2,50,04,05,54,502-0,26
11WIMMahalakshmi MIND2227RSPB2,50,04,05,54,502-0,21
1714Priyanka KIND2217TN2,50,03,55,04,252-0,25
1828WGMRamaswamy AarthieIND2020AI2,50,03,53,52,2520,42
1924WCMMrudul DehankarIND2074MAH2,50,03,04,03,252-0,09
2029Meenal GuptaIND2004J&K2,00,05,06,03,0020,0

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