Priyanka, a student of Mustabada Chess Educational Academy, hauled seven points out of nine to emerge winner.
City’s Nutakki Priyanka, a 10-year-old chess player, made the Indian chess fraternity proud by winning the Asian under-10 girls’ title, her first major title, in the Asian Youth Chess Championship that concluded at Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka on Sunday. Priyanka, a student of Mustabada Chess Educational Academy, hauled seven points out of nine to emerge winner and later she helped India win the team gold by garnering 19.5 points along with C. Lakshmi and Kaur Palkin. “Priyanka prepared well for the tournament and she won the title with the help of her pet openings like English and Sicilian Defence. She did well in both middle and end games to befuddle her opponents. She was down against Serikbay Assel of Kazakhstan in the third game, but showed good temperament to bounce back to win comfortably,” her coach V.R. Bobba, told The Hindu from Sri Lanka. She lost to a little known player in the eighth round (Abduali Sama of Kazakhstan) and drew with fellow Indian C. Lakshmi and Zahedifar Anahita (Iran).
Mr. Bobba said Priyanka, with her triumph at Sri Lanka, would be the hot favourite to win the world title when she travels to Slovenia to play the world under-10 championship in November. “She will be undergoing a different kind of coaching for the all-important tournament. We are planning to rope in former National ‘B’ player S. Vijayasaradhy and coach of Grand Master M.R. Lalith Babu, G. Murali Krishna,” he said. Incidentally, Priyanka also won the Asian rapid title, which was introduced by the Asian Chess Federation, before start of the main event. Earlier, Grand Master Koneru Humpy and Y. Sandeep won the Asian under-10 titles from Vijayawada. Abhilash Reddy of the Global Chess Academy finished fourth in the Asian under-18 championship and helped India win the team gold. Lasya took fifth place in the Asian under-16 segment. AP Chess Association president A. Narasimha Reddy, secretary K. Kanna Reddy, KDCA president Nageswara Rao, secretary D. Srihari, and Mustabada Chess Association president B. Ratna Rao congratulated Priyanka and others.