Calcutta: Local favourite and second seed Mary Ann Gomes will be aiming for a hat-trick of National Women Premier Chess Championship titles, which gets underway at the Spring Club, here, on Monday.
Mary Ann will face Michelle Catherina in the first round of on Monday itself. She sounded optimistic of her chances in this 11-round competition.
“I don’t want to put myself under pressure thinking about this hat-trick of titles. Since it will be a round-robin tournament, I need to be at my best in all matches I play.
“You need to have a good strategy and a lot of patience as well if you want to win the tournament,” said Mary Ann.
Working on her opening game is one major aspect that has brought about Mary Ann’s recent successes. “The middle game was always my strength. My opening game was pretty weak rather.
“So I started working on it after I won the last national premier title. The hard work eventually paid off.”
Mary Ann will be having a task at hand as the competition also features Tania Sachdev, the top seed and ranked third in the country.
Apart from her exploits on the chessboard, Tania is also used to walking the ramp. Asked how she manages the two roles, Tania replied: “Chess is my top priority. This will be an important tournament for me. I seriously want to do well here.”
Padmini Rout will be Tania’s opponent in the first round.
Missing from the meet will be India’s top-two players — Koneru Humpy and Dronavalli Harika.