The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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First WGM norm for Mary Ann

Calcutta: Mary Ann Gomes confirmed her 1st WGM norm in the ongoing Women’s National A Chess Championship in Visakapatnam with a win against Iswarya Shobana on Wednesday.

Mary Ann, who now has 8 points from 11 rounds, is in sole second place behind leader WGM Swati Ghate, who has 8.5 points.

When contacted by The Telegraph immediately after her win, Mary Ann said, “I am very happy and elated to get a WGM norm here. I have already met seven titled players and have to meet only WGM Swati Ghate in the last.

“With seven rounds remaining, I will definitely go for a win in all the rounds. But I won’t burn my bridges. I cannot afford to be complacent.”

Mary said her switch to Dipyendu Barua Chess Academy had also helped her “a great deal”. She also thanked “Bitan Banerjee, my practice partner, since I was woefully out of practice before this meet.”

Grandmaster Barua said: “Mary still needs to work hard on her openings. I am sure she will go quite far in the days to come.”

Deepan sole leader

PTI adds from Visakhapatnam: Building on his recently-acquired Grandmaster norm, Deepan Chakravarthy emerged as the sole leader with a thumping victory over S. Arun Prasad on Wednesday.

A former Asian Junior Champion, Deepan took his personal tally to 10 points out of a possible 13 and is now ahead of nearest rivals defending champion Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Koneru Humpy by half a point.

But the two challengers have played one game less in the event so far.

International Master P.D.S. Girinath put brakes on the dream run of IM hopeful D.P. Singh in a major upset in the 13th round.

As a result, Singh slipped a little in the standings as he was pushed to the fourth spot on 8.5 points where he is now followed by IM M.R. Venkatesh, who has eight points in his kitty

GMs Abhijit Kunte, Sandipan Chanda and GM norm holder S. Kidambi are next on 7.5 points. All of them are in contention for a place in the top three with eight rounds still to go in this 21-player event.

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