The final day of the 40th National women’s challengers’ chess championship witnessed several battles. Not surprisingly, because there were places up for grabs in the National premier championship at Kolkata from August 25.
Leading the list of eight qualifiers will be Soumya Swaminathan, a 24-year-old from Pune with a disarming smile. She won the championship quite comfortably in the end, with a point separating her from runner-up Swati Ghate.
Soumya, seeded second, defeated G.K. Monisha on the top board, before her strongest rival and third seed Nisha Mohota went down to Bhakti Kulkarni on the second board. Black prevailed on all the top three boards, with Swati beating J. Saranya.
There were decisive results on eight of the top 10 boards, with Soumya, Swati, Bhakti, Nisha, Monisha, top seed Padmini Rout, Ivana Maria Furtado and P. Michelle Catherina all booking their tickets to Kolkata. Monisha will be making her National premier debut.
Soumya said although her main aim was to meet the qualifying mark, she also wanted to win the title.
“It is one championship I hadn’t won before, though I won the National premiers in 2010,” said the former world junior champion.
“It was a pretty strong tournament, as I expected.”
She faced stiff resistance in the final round too from Monisha, before the latter’s blunder allowed a checkmate, after 33 moves from Moern Defence.
Important results (Final round): G.K. Monisha 7.5 lost to Soumya Swaminathan 9; Nisha Mohota 7.5 lost to Bhakti Kulkarni 8; J. Saranya 7 lost to Swati Ghate 8; P. Michelle Catherina 7.5 drew with Ivana Maria Furtado 8; Padmini Rout 7.5 bt P. Bala Kannamma 7.
Kiran Monisha Mohanty 7.5 bt Riay Savant 6.5; V. Varshini 6.5 lost to Pratyusha Bodda 7.5; Swati Mohota 7 drew with Rucha Pujari 7; M. Mahalakshmi 6.5 lost to R. Bharathi 7.5; Aarthie Ramaswamy 7.5 bt I. Harivardhini 6.5; Hinduja Reddy 7 drew with R. Vaishali 6.5
Nimmy A. George 6.5 drew with Supriya Joshi 6.5; Rutumbara Bidhar 6 lost to U. Ashwini 7; Rutuja Bakshi 7 bt Harshita Guddanti 6.
S. Anjana Krishna 5.5 lost to G. Lasya 6.5; Srija Seshadri 6.5 bt Pushpalata Mangal 5.5; G. Sandhya 6 drew with R. Preethi 6; Siddhali Shetye 6.5 bt P. Supreetha 5.5.
The standings: 1. Soumya 9 points; 2-3: Swati Ghate and Bhakti 8.
4-12: Nisha, G.K. Monisha, Padmini, Ivana, Michelle, Pratyusha, Kiran, Bharathi and Arthie 7.5.
13-19: Ashwini, Saranya, Rucha, Rutuja, Hinduja, Swati Mohota and Bala Kannamma 7.
20-29: Mahalakshmi, Lasya, Siddhali, Vaishali, Nimmy, Srija, Varshini, Riya, Supriya and Harivardhini 6.5.