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National Women's Championship: Seven players lead after three rounds

by Aditya Pai - 19/11/2018

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.

Naveen Jain, Senior IAS, Jaipur inaugurated the tournament by making the 1st move against seven-time National Women Champion IM Vijayalakshmi S | Photo: AICF

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.

Round 1

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.

IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman had to rely on her endgame expertise to outwit the much lower rated Niharika Ch | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Meanwhile, on board 2, WGM Mary Ann Gomes wrapped up her game against Shrija KM with a neat tactic | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

White has just pinned the black pawn with 27.Re1? How did black deliver the knock-out punch?

Round 2

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.

One slip in the middle game proved fatal for Nandhidhaa PV in round 2 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Vantika Agrawal also suffered an upset in round 2 in a 71 move long game | Photo: Supriya Bhat

Round 3

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.

Viji played a ferocious attack in the third round to reach 3.0/3

On board 12, Sakshi Chitlange (2237) suffered one of the biggest upsets of the round as she lost with the black pieces against Andria D'Souza (1754) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Results of round 3

11IMVijayalakshmi Subbaraman236521 - 02WFMSaranya J204922
221WCMJyothsna L20602½ - ½2WGMGomes Mary Ann22862
33IMMohota Nisha22762½ - ½2Harini S.199826
423Priyanka Kumari20052½ - ½2WGMKulkarni Bhakti22564
55WGMSwati Ghate225621 - 02Priyamvada Karamcheti182942
625Sandhya G200021 - 02WIMSrija Seshadri22248
711WIMMahalakshmi M219821 - 02Bhagyashree Patil180046
827WGMRamaswamy Aarthie199420 - 12WGMKiran Manisha Mohanty216414
929WIMChandreyee Hajra19632½ - ½2Nimmy A.G.213616
1035WFMMeghna C H18792½ - ½2Bala Kannamma P210118
1119WFMArpita Mukherjee209020 - 12Deodhar Vrushali Umesh179348
1251Andria L D`souza175421 - 0WIMChitlange Sakshi22377
1341Shetye Siddhali18310 - 1Priyanka K220710
1439WFMBommini Mounika Akshaya1859½ - ½WGMMeenakshi Subbaraman219112
1576Shrivastava Aditi13070 - 1WFMHarshini A198628

Standings after round 3

Por.č.TMenoFEDEloKlubBody TB1  TB2  TB3 
11IMVijayalakshmi SubbaramanIND2365AI3,00,04,05,0
5WGMSwati GhateIND2256LIC3,00,04,05,0
11WIMMahalakshmi MIND2198RSPB3,00,04,05,0
448Deodhar Vrushali UmeshIND1793MAH3,00,04,04,0
514WGMKiran Manisha MohantyIND2164LIC3,00,03,55,0
625Sandhya GIND2000AP3,00,03,54,5
751Andria L D`souzaIND1754KAR3,00,03,03,0
818Bala Kannamma PIND2101TN2,50,04,56,0
92WGMGomes Mary AnnIND2286PSPB2,50,04,55,5
4WGMKulkarni BhaktiIND2256AI2,50,04,55,5
16Nimmy A.G.IND2136KER2,50,04,55,5
21WCMJyothsna LIND2060TN2,50,04,55,5
23Priyanka KumariIND2005JHA2,50,04,55,5
26Harini S.IND1998TN2,50,04,55,5
35WFMMeghna C HIND1879RSPB2,50,04,55,5

Round 4 pairing

114WGMKiran Manisha Mohanty216433IMVijayalakshmi Subbaraman23651
248Deodhar Vrushali Umesh179333WGMSwati Ghate22565
351Andria L D`souza175433WIMMahalakshmi M219811
42WGMGomes Mary Ann22863Sandhya G200025
528WFMHarshini A1986IMMohota Nisha22763
64WGMKulkarni Bhakti2256WIMChandreyee Hajra196329
710Priyanka K2207Priyanka Kumari200523
816Nimmy A.G.2136WFMMeghna C H187935
918Bala Kannamma P2101Mehendi Sil163356
1026Harini S.1998WCMJyothsna L206021
116WIMNandhidhaa P V224022WCMBristy Mukherjee186837
128WIMSrija Seshadri222422WFMBommini Mounika Akshaya185939
1340Singh Neha183522WIMVantika Agrawal22109
1412WGMMeenakshi Subbaraman219122Adane Narayani180645
1542Priyamvada Karamcheti182922WIMMichelle Catherina P218213



Related news:
National Women's Championship: Bhakti Kulkarni takes sole lead

@ 23/11/2018 by Aditya Pai (en)

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