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A great initiative by AICF for women's chess in India!

by Sagar Shah - 15/06/2018

Spending on prize money of tournaments is not something that AICF would like to indulge in. But the current team in AICF led by Bharat Singh Chauhan have felt that the growth of woman chess in India is of paramount importance and hence have decided to sponsor the prize fund of SBI Life AICF Women's Grandmaster Round Robin event to the tune of 7.5 lakh. This is an investment in the future of Indian women's chess as six of our most talented youngsters get a chance to face six well-established international opponents and fight for their WGM norms. Four rounds have been completed and Nakhbayeva from Uzbekistan leads with a perfect 4.0/4. We have a detailed report with a video of the unique opening ceremony!

Nakhbayeva leads the SBI Life AICF Woman Grandmaster tournament with 4.0/4

The All India Chess Federation is very serious about woman improvement. They have instituted two events this year where six of the strongest non-WGM players of our country will fight it out against international WGMs in a bid to achieve their norms. The entire prize money of Rs.7.5 lakh for the event has been sponsored by All India Chess Federation. The tournament is organized by Indian Chess School and South Mumbai Chess Academy. One of the participants, and leader of the tournament Kazakhstan's Gulishkhan Nakhbayeva said, "It is simply a fantastic idea by the Indian Chess Federation. I hope that the Kazakhstan chess federation would have something similar back home!"

The tournament is being held in one of the finest clubs of Mumbai - the Green Acres Club

The playing hall of the tournament is comparable to that of any super tournament!

WIM Aakanksha Hagawane is the strongest Indian player and has had the best performance with 2.5/4

The tournament is clearly being dominated by the lady from Kazakhstan Guliskhan Nakhbayeva

Nakhabyeva is the third ranked woman player from Uzbekistan. Recently she has been under the shadow of two highly talented Kazakh girls Dinara Saduakassova and Zhansaya Abdumalik. But with the amount of experience that Nakhbayeva has, you can never count her out. At the SBI Life AICF Woman's Grandmaster event

In her game against Divya Deshmukh, Nakhbayeva played all the logical moves and got a good position out of the opening. The position was interesting and with opposite side castling it seemed as if we were in for a treat. However, the little girl from Nagpur blundered big time and got checkmated.

Keep calm, enjoy the Indian tea and checkmate Indian opponents! All of Nakhbayeva's points have come by beating Indian opponents!

In the third round Nakhbayeva scored a very interesting win in the Grunfeld against Aakanksha Hagawane. In a topical line of 7.Qa4+ Nakhbayeva went for an exchange sacrifice and was soon left searching for compensation. Aakanksha got a bit impatient and let her opponent get a lot of counterplay. Instead she could have remained calm and got a decent edge. Here's the game for you to go over and learn how to shift from attacking your opponent's king, to queening your pawns!

Vietnamese Vo Thi Kim Phung is on 3.0/4 with two wins and two draws

Anna Zozulia is currently on 2.5/4 with three draws and one win

The Indian players are clearly struggling. Apart from Hagawane, all the five spots in the bottom of the table are taken up by the Indian players. But then isn't this the reason why we invited these strong women players? This will prove to be one of the best learning process for our girls. Usually to play against such high rated opposition you have to travel to places, spend so much of money. But here the players have come in your own backyard and you are getting all of these lessons for free (Alright, in return for a few Elo points!). We can hope for a positive comeback by the Indian girls, but even if they don't I think we shouldn't really mind it!

The unique opening ceremony:

When you have Praful Zaveri from Indian chess school as the organizer, you can always expect something different and so was the case at the opening ceremony of SBI Life AICF Woman Grandmaster Round Robin event.

Enjoy this short video capsule that gives you the feel of the opening ceremony!

All the players arrived to the opening ceremony escorted by young students who held a placard of their names in their hands

The players were made to feel special!

Guliskhan Nakhbayeva!

Traditional Indian dance

Kids swarmed around the players for their autographs...

....and photographs!

The garlands and tika (small mark on the forehead) convinced Gulrukhbegim that she had to take a selfie with Bakhtyug!

It is a big opportunity for young kids of Green Acres Academy to come and learn by seeing the masters in action

Something that the school will treasure forever! Autographs of each and every player!

The Regional Director of SBI Life Mr. Siva Rama Krishnan (right) attended the opening ceremony. SBI has always supported chess in a big way and Praful Zaveri, the tournament director and Ravindra Dongre, Asian Zone 3.7 President thank the director for that.

Mrs. Leena Parikh, the owner of Acres Club, who has been kind enough to give the fantastic venue for the event

What a colourful picture!

Ranking crosstable after round 4

Rk. NameRtgFED123456789101112Pts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
1WGMNakhbayeva Guliskhan2323KAZ*11114,00,06,0042
2WGMVo Thi Kim Phung2376VIE*½½113,00,05,5020
3IMZozulia Anna2314BEL½*½½12,50,05,0011
4WIMAakanksha Hagawane2297IND0½*112,50,03,7520
5WGMTokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim2379UZB½½*½12,50,03,7510
6IMMunguntuul Batkhuyag2410MGL0*1½12,50,03,2521
7WIMTomilova Elena2334RUS0½*½12,00,03,0010
8WIMSrija Seshadri2207IND0½*101,51,02,5011
9WIMVantika Agrawal2279IND0½0*11,50,01,2511
10WIMMonnisha G K2295IND0001*1,00,01,5011
11WFMDivya Deshmukh2138IND000*11,00,00,0011
12Rakshitta Ravi2067IND0000*0,00,00,0000

Rank after round 4

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
WGMNakhbayeva GuliskhanKAZ23234,00,06,0042
WGMVo Thi Kim PhungVIE23763,00,05,5020
IMZozulia AnnaBEL23142,50,05,0011
WIMAakanksha HagawaneIND22972,50,03,7520
WGMTokhirjonova GulrukhbegimUZB23792,50,03,7510
IMMunguntuul BatkhuyagMGL24102,50,03,2521
WIMTomilova ElenaRUS23342,00,03,0010
WIMSrija SeshadriIND22071,51,02,5011
WIMVantika AgrawalIND22791,50,01,2511
WIMMonnisha G KIND22951,00,01,5011
WFMDivya DeshmukhIND21381,00,00,0011
Rakshitta RaviIND20670,00,00,0000

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