|Tania Sachdev (from left), Rituparna Sengupta
and Mary Ann Gomes during the inauguration
of the National Women’s Premier Chess tournament,
at the Spring Club, on Monday. A Telegraph picture
Calcutta: Top seed Tania Sachdev started her campaign in the UBI 40th National Women Premier Chess Championship, organised by Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy and Allsport, at the Spring Club, in a rousing fashion as she outplayed former world U-14 girls’ champion and WGM Padmini Rout of Odisha.
The meet, which will run till September 5, got underway on Monday after it was inaugurated by Rituparna Sengupta. The 11 round round-robin league features some of best women players of the country.
Rout’s enterprising play, got her an excellent position from the opening, despite having the black pieces against Tania, in a King’s Indian Defence. But Rout blocked the kingside which allowed Tania’s pieces a free run on the queenside.
Tania won a pawn and went on to win the game comfortably thereafter.
The highlight of the day’s play, however, was young Michelle Catherina’s game against the defending champion, WGM Mary Ann Gomes of Bengal. Michelle used Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence.
The youngster from Tamil Nadu, at one point, had a slight advantage in the middle-game. But Mary’s spirited play in the endgame gave her enough chances to win.
However, with both players in severe time pressure, the game was a draw in a rook ending.
Goa’s Bhakti Kulkarni had an easy outing and she was the first winner of the day. Playing with white pieces, Bhakti outplayed Kiran Manisha Mohanty thoroughly to win the game.
In another board, the battle between two former national champions— Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB and city-based Nisha Mohota of Oil India — the former obtained a slight positional advantage from the opening, but failed to capitalise on it. Later both the players agreed to split the point to draw the game.
The youngest player of the meet, former World Under-8 champion Evana Furtado of Goa, held former national champion Swathi Ghate of LIC in 36 moves in a Nimzo Indian Defence.
The game between GK Monnisha of Tamil Nadu and Bodda Pratyusha of Andhra Pradesh ended in a draw even after the players toiled for almost four hours.