National Women's Championship: Seven players lead after three rounds
The National Women's Chess Championship kicked off on the 17th of November at the Diamond Club, Urbana Jewels in Jaipur Rajasthan. Even though some top women players are missing from the field, the event has attracted as many as 112 participants from all corners of the country. Three rounds have been played so far and each one has been fully action packed. After several upsets and brilliancies, seven players including the top-seeded Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman and -- surprisingly -- two sub-1800 rated women have made it atop the leaderboard with a perfect 3.0/3 score. We bring you all the action.
The Pink city plays host to the 2018 edition of the National Women's Chess Championship
The National Women's Chess Championship kicked off on Sunday with an 11 am morning round. The tournament is slated to be played from November 17-26, 2018 over 11 rounds at the Diamond Club in the Rajasthani city of Jaipur and is being organised by the All India Chess Federation. The prize purse is a whopping ₹15,00,000 with the winner's share being ₹400,000. The event has attracted a total of 112 participants from 20 states, 2 Union Territories and 4 special units which include 2 IMs, 6 WGMs, 7 WIMs and 7 WFMs.
Top seed of the tournament is the seven-time National Champion, IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman. Some of the other top names in the fray include (but are not limited to) Mary Ann Gomes, Nisha Mohota, Bhakti Kulkarni and Swati Ghate. As for the time control, players get 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and another 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds from the first move.
Three rounds into the tournament, IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman has taken the lead alongside six other players. While some among the leaders are usual suspects like Swati Ghate or Kiran Manisha Mohanty, some are surprise names like Vrushali Deodhar (1793) and Andria D'Souza (1754). Some of the top seeds like Mary Ann Gomes and Bhakti Kulkarni have already conceded draws to lower rated opponents and have slipped half-a-point behind the leaders.
The inaugural round saw no surprises as all of the top seeds managed to win their games. While most top seeds won their game rather easily, top seed, IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman had to face a decent challenge in the first two phases of her game against Niharika Ch. The 1626 rated Niharika managed to go toe-to-toe with her title opponent well until the final phase of the game in a Reti Opening before finally caving in in the heavy piece endgame that had ensued.
The second round saw a few more upsets on the top boards. Samriddha Ghosh (1870) held Sakshi Chitlange (2237) to a draw on board 7 while Bommini Mounika Akshaya (1859) held Priyanka K (2207) and Siddhali Shetye (1831) signed peace against WGM Meenakshi Subbaraman (2191). Wins were over higher rated opposition on some of the top boards were scored by Meghna C H (1879), who defeated WIM Nandhidhaa PV (2240); Priyamvada Karamcheti (1829) who got the better of WIM Vantika Agrawal (2210); Bhagyashree Patil (1800) who brought down Michelle Catherina P (2182); and Vrushali Deodhar (1793) who beat Isha Sharma (2151).
Nandhidhaa PV had an even position against Meghna CH out of a French Tarrasch when she suddenly lost the thread of the position and allowed her opponent a monstrous kingside attack. Once the black pawns began rolling, there was just no way out for white. The WIM from Tamil Nadu was forced to resign about 7 moves later.
The third round also saw its fair share of action. After a relatively dull opening in the first round with the white pieces, top seed, IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman replayed 1.Nf3 (which later transposed into a King's Indian Defence) in round three and utterly annihilated the Saranya J's king. The game that merely lasted 29 moves finished with a nice slow-motion checkmate.
Results of round 3
|1||1||IM||Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman||2365||2||1 - 0||2||WFM||Saranya J||2049||22|
|2||21||WCM||Jyothsna L||2060||2||½ - ½||2||WGM||Gomes Mary Ann||2286||2|
|3||3||IM||Mohota Nisha||2276||2||½ - ½||2||Harini S.||1998||26|
|4||23||Priyanka Kumari||2005||2||½ - ½||2||WGM||Kulkarni Bhakti||2256||4|
|5||5||WGM||Swati Ghate||2256||2||1 - 0||2||Priyamvada Karamcheti||1829||42|
|6||25||Sandhya G||2000||2||1 - 0||2||WIM||Srija Seshadri||2224||8|
|7||11||WIM||Mahalakshmi M||2198||2||1 - 0||2||Bhagyashree Patil||1800||46|
|8||27||WGM||Ramaswamy Aarthie||1994||2||0 - 1||2||WGM||Kiran Manisha Mohanty||2164||14|
|9||29||WIM||Chandreyee Hajra||1963||2||½ - ½||2||Nimmy A.G.||2136||16|
|10||35||WFM||Meghna C H||1879||2||½ - ½||2||Bala Kannamma P||2101||18|
|11||19||WFM||Arpita Mukherjee||2090||2||0 - 1||2||Deodhar Vrushali Umesh||1793||48|
|12||51||Andria L D`souza||1754||2||1 - 0||1½||WIM||Chitlange Sakshi||2237||7|
|13||41||Shetye Siddhali||1831||1½||0 - 1||1½||Priyanka K||2207||10|
|14||39||WFM||Bommini Mounika Akshaya||1859||1½||½ - ½||1½||WGM||Meenakshi Subbaraman||2191||12|
|15||76||Shrivastava Aditi||1307||1½||0 - 1||1½||WFM||Harshini A||1986||28|
Standings after round 3
|4||48||Deodhar Vrushali Umesh||IND||1793||MAH||3,0||0,0||4,0||4,0|
|5||14||WGM||Kiran Manisha Mohanty||IND||2164||LIC||3,0||0,0||3,5||5,0|
|7||51||Andria L D`souza||IND||1754||KAR||3,0||0,0||3,0||3,0|
|8||18||Bala Kannamma P||IND||2101||TN||2,5||0,0||4,5||6,0|
|9||2||WGM||Gomes Mary Ann||IND||2286||PSPB||2,5||0,0||4,5||5,5|
|35||WFM||Meghna C H||IND||1879||RSPB||2,5||0,0||4,5||5,5|
Round 4 pairing
|1||14||WGM||Kiran Manisha Mohanty||2164||3||3||IM||Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman||2365||1|
|2||48||Deodhar Vrushali Umesh||1793||3||3||WGM||Swati Ghate||2256||5|
|3||51||Andria L D`souza||1754||3||3||WIM||Mahalakshmi M||2198||11|
|4||2||WGM||Gomes Mary Ann||2286||2½||3||Sandhya G||2000||25|
|5||28||WFM||Harshini A||1986||2½||2½||IM||Mohota Nisha||2276||3|
|6||4||WGM||Kulkarni Bhakti||2256||2½||2½||WIM||Chandreyee Hajra||1963||29|
|7||10||Priyanka K||2207||2½||2½||Priyanka Kumari||2005||23|
|8||16||Nimmy A.G.||2136||2½||2½||WFM||Meghna C H||1879||35|
|9||18||Bala Kannamma P||2101||2½||2½||Mehendi Sil||1633||56|
|10||26||Harini S.||1998||2½||2½||WCM||Jyothsna L||2060||21|
|11||6||WIM||Nandhidhaa P V||2240||2||2||WCM||Bristy Mukherjee||1868||37|
|12||8||WIM||Srija Seshadri||2224||2||2||WFM||Bommini Mounika Akshaya||1859||39|
|13||40||Singh Neha||1835||2||2||WIM||Vantika Agrawal||2210||9|
|14||12||WGM||Meenakshi Subbaraman||2191||2||2||Adane Narayani||1806||45|
|15||42||Priyamvada Karamcheti||1829||2||2||WIM||Michelle Catherina P||2182||13|