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16-year-old Divya Deshmukh clinches MPL 47th National Women Chess Championship 2022

by Shahid Ahmed - 03/03/2022

WGM Divya Deshmukh (MAH) drew her final round game against IM Soumya Swaminathan (PSPB) to clinch MPL 47th National Women Chess Championship 2022. She finished a full point ahead of the competition. WIM Sakshi Chitlange (MAH), WIM Priyanka Nutakki (AP) and WGM Srija Seshadri (TN) scored 7.0/9 each. They were placed second to fourth according to tie-breaks. Divya finished third in the 2019 edition. She became the fifth-youngest woman to win National Women 2022, tying the record with Humpy at the age of 16 years. Sakshi and Priyanka Nutakki scored a WGM-norm each. Priyanka Nutakki became India's 23rd Woman Grandmaster. Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

Divya ties the record with Humpy

Vasanti Khadilkar, Jayshree Khadilkar and Rohini Khadilkar - the Khadilkar sisters who dominated the first decade (1974-83) of the National Women's championship, won their first ever National Women's championship at the age of 13 years. Saritha Reddy won it in 1987 at the age of 15 years. Koneru Humpy won the National championship in 2003 when she was 16. Divya also won it at the age of 16 years. We will have a separate article on Priyanka Nutakki becoming India's 23rd Woman Grandmaster.

Top 3 (L to R) - 2nd WIM Sakshi Chitlange (MAH) 7.0/9, 1st WGM Divya Deshmukh 8.0/9 and 3rd WIM Priyanka Nutakki (AP) 7.0/9 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

Champion - WGM Divya Deshmukh (MAH) 8.0/9 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo
Divya Deshmukh's crisp interview after becoming the National Champion 2022 | Video: ChessBase India
Divya Deshmukh on winning the National Championship 2022 at the age of 16 years | Video: ChessBase India

2nd WIM Sakshi Chitlange (MAH) 7.0/9 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo
2nd at National Championship 2022 - Sakshi Chitlange shows her positional win over Mary Ann Gomes | Video: ChessBase India

3rd WIM Priyanka Nutakki (AP) 7.0/9 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo
The 23rd WGM of India - Priyanka Nutakki + 3rd place at Nationals 2022 | Video: ChessBase India

Divya had a quick draw with Soumya in the last round | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

Padmini - Priyanka Nutakki: 0.5-0.5

IM Padmini Rout (PSPB) did not go easy on WIM Priyanka Nutakki (AP). The former National champion tested the new WGM of India.

Position after 31...Rh8

32.Be2 threatening Bc4 would have made things extremely difficult for Black to survive. Fortunately for her, White did not find it and opted for 32.hxg6+ Kxg6 33.Rg1 Rh1 34.Bxa7 Rxc2 35.Kxc2 Rh2+ 36.Be2 allowed Black to save the game and salvage a draw eventually.

WIM Priyanka Nutakki (AP) scored a crucial half point against IM Padmini Rout (PSPB) to become India's latest WGM | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

Arpita - Sakshi: 1-0

WIM Sakshi Chitlange (MAH) needed a win against WIM Arpita Mukherjee (WB) to earn her final WGM-norm. The game was heading towards until the latter blundered.

Position after 39...Kc6

In a Rook ending with 3 vs 4 pawns, it is a relatively easy draw. Almost anything and everything leads to a draw here, 40.Kf5/Kxh5/h4 everything is okay, except 40.Rxg7 which allows Black to create a passed pawn on the e-file Rxg7+ 41.Kxg7 f5 and it's over for White.

WIM Arpita Mukherjee (WB) made a rare mistake in the endgame which cost her dearly against WIM Sakshi Chitlange (MAH) | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

WGM Srija Seshadri (TN) beat WIM Isha Sharma (KAR) to secure fourth place | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

IM Vaishali R (TN) made a short work of WGM Pratyusha Bodda (AP) in 24 moves | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

WIM Priyanka K (TN) - IM Nisha Mohota (PSPB): 1-0 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

Photo Gallery

4th WGM Srija Seshadri (TN) 7.0/9 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

5th IM Soumya Swaminathan (PSPB) 6.5/9 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

6th IM Vaishali R (TN) 6.5/9 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

7th IM Padmini Rout (PSPB) 6.5/9 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

8th WGM Mary Ann Gomes (PSPB) 6.5/9 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

9th WIM Priyanka K (TN) 6.5/9 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

WIM Parnali Dharia (MAH) 6.5/9 | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

The top 10 finishers | Photo: IA Suresh Chandra Sahoo

For more Round 9 photos, click here.


A total of 102 players including 5 IMs, 8 WGMs and 10 WIMs took part in this tournament organized by All Odisha Chess Association. The event took place at KIIT at Bhubaneswar, Odisha from 25th February to 2nd March 2022. The nine-round Swiss league tournament has a time control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment from move no.1

Replay Round 9 games

Round 9 results

18WGMDivya Deshmukh2301MAH½ - ½6IMSoumya Swaminathan2360PSPB5
26IMPadmini Rout2350PSPB6½ - ½WIMPriyanka Nutakki2301AP9
311WIMArpita Mukherjee2260WB60 - 16WIMChitlange Sakshi2205MAH19
416WGMSrija Seshadri2219TN61 - 06WIMSharma Isha2253KAR13
57WGMPratyusha Bodda2328AP0 - 1IMVaishali R2403TN1
64WGMGomes Mary Ann2361PSPB1 - 0WIMRakshitta Ravi2278TN10
714WIMPriyanka K2227TN1 - 0IMMohota Nisha2147PSPB23
815WIMParnali S Dharia2224MAH1 - 05WIMSavitha Shri B2257TN12
92IMKulkarni Bhakti2388GOA51 - 05Nimmy A.G.2110KER28
1038Ghosh Samriddhaa1910WB50 - 15WGMVarshini V2206TN17
1118WFMSalonika Saina2206ORI5½ - ½5WFMJyothsna L2052TN30
1220WFMPandey Srishti2177MAH51 - 05Velpula Sarayu1875TEL39
1347Smaraki Mohanty1725ORI51 - 05WIMMichelle Catherina P2176TN21
1422WGMKiran Manisha Mohanty2168LIC50 - 15WCMBristy Mukherjee1856WB41
1567Dakshita Kumawat1395RAJ5½ - ½5WGMSwati Ghate2136LIC25
1627Bala Kannamma P2120TN50 - 15Deodhar Vrushali Umesh1974MAH34
1740Jayashree P.K.1864TN½ - ½WFMBommini Mounika Akshaya2145AP24
1837WFMKotepalli Sai Nirupama1914AP½ - ½WFMHarshini A2131TN26
1931WCMKheerthi Ganta2011TEL½ - ½Tejaswini G1742TN45
2032WIMChandreyee Hajra2001WB0 - 1Keerti Shree Reddy1721TN49


Final standings

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
18WGMDivya DeshmukhIND2301MAH8,047,551,546,500,07
219WIMChitlange SakshiIND2205MAH7,048,553,037,250,06
39WIMPriyanka NutakkiIND2301AP7,048,052,038,000,06
416WGMSrija SeshadriIND2219TN7,046,551,038,750,06
55IMSoumya SwaminathanIND2360PSPB6,551,055,538,500,04
61IMVaishali RIND2403TN6,550,554,532,750,05
76IMPadmini RoutIND2350PSPB6,545,550,035,000,04
84WGMGomes Mary AnnIND2361PSPB6,544,048,032,750,05
914WIMPriyanka KIND2227TN6,543,047,032,250,06
1015WIMParnali S DhariaIND2224MAH6,542,547,033,250,06


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