Arvind Aaron

  • Soumya Swaminathan of Pune starts the favourite
  • This time twenty players will qualify for the women's `A'

    Chennai: A total of 105 players from 13 States will be seen in action in the 33rd National women's `B' chess championship that will start here on Tuesday. This time twenty players will qualify for the women's `A', a big increase from ten who qualified from the Sangli women's `B' last year. The National `B' for women returns to Chennai after seven years. National junior girls champion of 2005 and 2006, Soumya Swaminathan of Pune starts the favourite although one can expect her to be tired in the first half as she had played non-stop chess for more than a month.

    Prominent players

    The event features plenty of champions, many of whom are certain to make the top 20 and move to the next grade. Among whom the prominent ones are defending champion Supriya Maji (Ben), Asian u-16 champion Lakshmi Sahiti (AP), Asian u-14 champion Bhakti Kulkarni (Goa), Asian u-12 champion Padmini Rout (Ori), and National u-17 champion P. Uthra (TN).

    Many medal winners like, Asian u-18 and u-20 bronze medallist P. Sivasankari (TN), Asian u-14 bronze medallist Pon N. Krithika (TN), Asian u-12 bronze medal winner J. Mohanapriya (TN), Asian u-8 bronze medal winner U. Ashwini (TN) are also expected to impress.

    Hopefuls

    The established names who have played previous National `A' championships and seeking re-entry are J.E. Kavitha (TN), P. Priya (TN), S. Sujatha (TN), Pushpalata Mangal (Mah), Sai Meera Ravi (BSB) and M.R. Sangeetha (TN). The venue is St. Joseph's College of Engineering, which is located between Chennai city and Mamallapuram, south of the Information Technology corridor.

    The winner will take home Rs. 20,000 and the trophy. The total prize fund is Rs.75,000 and the sponsor is St. Joseph's College of Engineering.

    The eight-day event is organised by the Mount Chess Academy on behalf of the All India Chess Federation.

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