Arvind Aaron

Chennai: Woman Grandmasters did not have an easy round one in the 36th St Joseph’s National women Premier chess championship that got underway near here on Wednesday.

While five of the nine Woman Grandmasters won, four WGMs including Soumya Swaminathan drew and Aarthie Ramaswamy suffered a defeat.

The 2003 champion Aarthie Ramaswamy of Air India, Chennai was defeated by Velammal School girl C.H. Savetha. Aarthie had the edge in the ending but blundered a piece and lost the game.

Second seed Eesha Karavade of Pune was held to a fighting draw by Kiran Manisha Mohanty of Orissa in an interesting bishop ending. Kiran declined a knight offer in the middlegame and fought the endgame to draw higher rated WGM.

Supriya Maji, 22, a final year B.A. student from Kolkata did a favour to the 2005 champion Nisha Mohota of Kolkata by accepting a draw after obtaining a clear better position from a Scotch opening.

Supriya, thinking the position was “unclear,” took the draw on move 31 which was offered by Oil India’s Nisha who is also from Kolkata.

World Junior girls champion Soumya Swaminathan of Pune was held to a draw in a pawn ending by the experienced Swati Mohota of Kolkata. Top seed Harika of Guntur controlled the open file with her rooks and won a skill oriented endgame to defeat Priya of Chennai in 56 moves. Defending champion Kruttika Nadig of Pune got over problems from an unfamiliar opening to comeback and defeat former World Under-10 champion Sahajasri of Andhra.

Former two-time champion Tania Sachdev of Delhi overcame former National sub-junior champion Bharathi of Chennai by trooping in with her queen to win two pawns with the black pieces.

Meenakshi Subbaraman of Air India, Chennai latched on to a 13th move blunder by Pune’s Amruta Mokal to win a rook for minor piece before taking the game.

The impressive win of the day was posted by National Junior champion Bhakti Kulkarni of Goa who sacrificed a knight to defeat Pallabi Roy of West Bengal in just 20 moves. The results (round one): P. Priya (TN) lost to D. Harika (AP), Eesha Karavade (Mah) drew with Kiran Mohanty (Ori), R. Bharathi (TN) lost to Tania Sachdev (Del), Mary Ann Gomes (WB) bt J. Saranya (TN), Supriya Maji (WB) drew with Nisha Mohota (PSPB), S. Meenakshi (AI) bt Amruta Mokal (Mah), Swati Mohota (WB) drew with Soumya Swaminathan (Mah), Bhakti Kulkarni (Goa) bt Pallabi Roy (WB), C. Sahajasri (AP) lost to Kruttika Nadig (Mah), Aarthie Ramaswamy (AI) lost to C.H. Savetha (TN), Bindu Saritha (LIC) lost to Sai Meera (IB), Pon N. Krithikha (TN) bt A. Akshaya (TN), A. Sithalatchumi (TN) - bye.

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