Batkhuyag Munguntuul wins the SBI Life AICF Woman Grandmasters Round Robin in a thrilling finish
It was for the first time that a closed Round Robin Women's International Tournament was held in India. Although no Indian player was able to make a WGM norm, the amount of learnings that our girls took home was mammoth. The winner of the event was Mongolian IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul. In the last round she edged out Guliskhan Nakhbayeva, who lost her game to third placed Srija Seshadri. Srija, Aakanksha and Vantika gained Elo points from the event, while Monnisha, Divya and Rakshitta gained experience! Rakshitta scored just 0.5/11, but we tell you why it can be a blessing in disguise. Photos and interviews by the mother-son duo of Supriya and Avathanshu Bhat.
Guliskhan Nakhbayeva did all the right things at the SBI Life Insurance AICF Women Grandmaster Round Robin 2018. She led from the start. She was leading until the last round. She even didn't lose to her closest competitor in the penultimate round. Munguntuul and Nakhbayeva drew their tenth round game. She went to the last round with half point lead. Yet, the pressure was on her shoulders to win because her second tiebreak was worse than that of Munguntuul. So even though Guliskhan had 7.5/10 and Munguntuul was on 7.0/10, the former had the pressure to win.
In the final round everything went downhill for Nakhbayeva as she blundered a complete piece against Srija Seshadri. On the other hand Batkhuyag Munguntuul was clinical and she defeated her opponent Elena Tomilova with the white pieces.
And in this way, it turned out that Munguntuul edged ahead of Nakhbayeva at the finish line and took home the trophy as well as Rs.1,65,000.
|4||WGM||Vo Thi Kim Phung||2376||VIE||0||½||½||*||½||1||½||½||1||½||1||1||7,0||0,5||32,75||4||1|
|7||WIM||Monnisha G K||2295||IND||0||0||1||½||½||0||*||1||0||1||1||½||5,5||1,0||27,50||4||3|
|5||3||Bartakke Amardeep S.||IND||2084||7,0||0,0||50,5||54,0||2||5|
|13||11||Govind Prabhu Mah||IND||1602||6,5||0,0||43,0||45,5||2||6|
|16||18||Kadam Rishi R||U13||IND||1519||6,0||0,0||48,0||51,5||2||5|
Although no Indian players achieved their norms, this turned out to be an excellent event for our youngsters. Aakanksha, Srija, Monnisha, Vantika, Divya and Rakshitta - the oldest of them was Srija, but she too is born is 1997! That's just 21 years of age. Meanwhile Divya and Rakshitta got a chance to play in a Round Robin tournament at the age of just 12! In future when these players will become top players of Indian and the world they will have to regularly play Round Robin events, and this experience will be invaluable.
I think All India Chess Federation has done a tremendous job. They sponsored the entire prize fund of Rs. 7.5 lakh rupees. It is an investment into the future of women's chess in India. The selection of the players was also quite interesting. Munguntuul, Nakhbayeva, Torkhirjonova, Vo Thi Kim Phung have been some of the top woman players of Asia. They coming to India ensured that our players have the best possible practice against some of the best players of Asia. One more closed WGM Round Robin tournament will happen in India this year.
She scored just 0.5/11. Yes, you read that right. She lost 10 games in a row. Every time Rakshitta lost a game, we are sure that she got upset. But she was back at the board fighting for the next game! Day after day, round after round she is gave her all. After 10 losses, she managed to draw her final game! A few years later when she will be one of the top players of the world, everyone will be in awe of her achievements and ask her how did she do it! At that point all that you have to remember is that Rakshitta went through this tough time and came out strong!