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13-year-old Divya Deshmukh with an Elo of 2432 becomes India no.3 behind Humpy and Harika

by Sagar Shah - 01/04/2019

The April rating list just came out today and the biggest news of the day is 13-year-old Divya Deshmukh from Nagpur becoming India no.3 with an Elo of 2432. She has left behind stalwarts of Indian women's chess like Soumya Swaminathan (2402), Tania Sachdev (2397), Eesha Karavade (2370), Padmini Rout (2364), R.Vaishali (2353), Bhakti Kulkarni (2350), Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman (2342) and others. The only two players ahead of her are Humpy and Harika. For quite some time India has been searching for a female player who can give the best in the world a run for their money. With Divya's recent performance we can be sure that we have a future World Champion in her. In this article we tell you how Divya reached a rating of 2432 and also show you a couple of games annotated by the youngster herself.

Divya Deshmukh started the year 2019 with an Elo of 2169 and the WIM title. She didn't have a great event at the IIFLW Mumbai 2018-19 and her rating came down to 2127. But that's when things changed completely. First she took part in the Velammal - AICF Women International Round Robin tournament from the 28th of January to 4th of February 2019. In a field that had six experienced women players from all over the world, Divya who was the third last seed, won the tournament and scored her maiden IM norm! 

Scoring an IM norm in a closed WGM Round Robin tournament is extremely difficult, but Divya managed to do it | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Final Ranking after 11 Rounds

Rk.SNoNamesexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
17WIMDivya DeshmukhwIND21688,00,038,2573
212IMOsmak IulijawUKR23947,51,038,0063
36WIMMichelle Catherina PwIND21757,50,035,2564
49IMMunguntuul BatkhuyagwMGL24287,00,034,2551
54WIMAakanksha HagawanewIND22596,50,036,5031
63WGMBabiy OlgawUKR22756,00,025,0052
72WGMUuriintuya UurtsaikhwMGL23145,50,027,2541
81IMNakhbayeva GuliskhanwKAZ23365,00,025,7531
98WIMSapale SaloniwIND21984,50,019,7522
1011WIMFranco Valencia AngelawCOL21073,50,019,2522
1110WIMVarshini VwIND21713,00,014,0010
125WIMChandreyee HajrawIND19252,00,08,2511

Divya's performance at the Velammal AICF Women Round Robin 2019. She gained 139 Elo points and pumped her live rating to 2266

Next up was the Aeroflot Open 2019 from 19th Feb to 1st of March 2019. Divya was one of the many Indian players participating in the event. She played in the B-category (2300-2550) and missed her second IM norm by a whisker. She went back home with a WGM norm - her second norm.

Wins against three IMs - Vladimir Zakhartsov (2493), Marina Guseva (2419) and IM Daria Charochkina (2344) is a fantastic result. Her live rating was now 2380.

At the HD Bank in March 2019 Divya's performance wasn't as great Velammal AICF Round Robin or the Aeroflot Open, but it was good enough to gain 52 Elo points. This took her live rating to 2432 as on 1st of April 2019

The steep climb in the last couple of months! 2127 to 2432! Now Divya's k-factor changes from 40 to 10!

Sitting pretty as India no.3 after Humpy and Harika is the 13-year-old from Nagpur

Caption this! Make sure you make Divya a part of the caption!

One of the earliest photos of Divya published on ChessBase India!

Divya's two games from Aeroflot Open 2019

After the Aeroflot Open 2019 ended we contacted Divya and she sent us two of her wins against Maria Guseva and Vladimir Zakhartsov.

What surprise did Divya have in store for her opponent here?

Divya Deshmukh vs Vladimir Zakhartsov

In both these games there are few things that you can know about Divya's playing style. She likes messy positions that are tactical in nature. It doesn't matter if she has an opening advantage or not, she loves to attack and find resources on the board. From her annotations you can find that she is quite critical about her play. She tries to find mistakes in her games and is not conservative in giving question marks. This self-critical approach is sure to help her keep improving in the years to come.

Previous coverage of Divya on ChessBase India

Interview of Divya by Shahid Ahmed after she became the World under-12 champion
Interview of Divya after she became the sub junior (u-15) national champion at the age of 12
Live footage of Divya beating the first GM of her chess career Hoa Nguyen at Chennai Open 2018
Analysis with Divya of her first win against a GM
Divya analyzes her critical win against Olga Babiy that gave her her maiden IM norm

Playlist on ChessBase India YouTube Channel dedicated to Divya Deshmukh

The golden girl of Indian chess

World Youth 2018: Divya wins bronze