Padmini scores a hat-trick in Women Premier
International Master Padmini Rout played out a hard fought draw with her PSPB teammate Eesha Karavade and secured a hat-trick in the National Women premier chess championship that concluded here. Ending her tally on eight points from eleven games, Padmini put an end to a series of mediocre performances that saw her rating go down by over seventy points. The Odisha girl was at the top of her game right through and did not face any great challenge in her quest to strike for gold.
GM-elect S Vijayalakshmi of Air India ended her campaign on a positive note defeating R Vaishali of PSPB in her final round game. The last game to end in the tournament took Vijayalakshmi to 7.5 points, that was enough for the silver medal ahead of Eesha who ended third. It was in fact a two-way tie for the third place after Soumya Swaminathan went down to Mary Ann Gomes. The latter spoiled Soumya’s party in a fighting last round game.
Right from the beginning it was a race between Padmini, Vijayalakshmi, Eesha and Soumya and this is how it ended. Mary Ann Gomes ended a distant fifth on 5.5 points despite beating Soumya in the final round. One of the other notable gainer in the championship was P Bala Kannamma of Tamil Nadu who started as the lowest seed but troubled many of the top stars. A last round victory over Andhra girl Pratyusha Bodda ensured a Women International Master norm for Bala Kannamma.
The victory ensured that Padmini Rout will be a part of the Indian women team in the next World team’s chess championship in which the Indian eves qualified by virtue of their performance in the last Chess Olympiad. The other two confirmed members of the team are Grandmasters Koneru Humpy and D Harika while the remaining two places will be decided most likely according to February rating list.
Results Round-11 :- Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB (7) lost to Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB (5.5); Nisha Mohota of PSPB (5) drew with Swati Ghate of LIC (5); Mahalakshmi M of TN (5) beat Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC (4); S Vijayalakshmi of AI (7.5) beat Vaishali R of TN (3.5); Bala Kannamma P of TN (5) beat Pratyusha Bodda of AP (3.5); Padmini Rout of PSPB (8) drew with Eesha Karavade of PSPB (7).
Final Standings with points :-
1. Padmini Rout of PSPB (8)
2. S Vijayalakshmi of Air India (7.5)
3. Eesha Karavade of PSPB (7)
4. Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB (7)
5. Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB (5.5)
6. Mahalakshmi M of Tamilnadu (5)
7. Nisha Mohota of PSPB (5)
8. Bala Kannamma P of Tamilnadu (5)
9. Swati Ghate of LIC (5)
10. Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC (4)
11. Vaishali R of Tamilnadu (3.5)
12. Pratyusha Bodda of Andhra Pradesh (3.5).
Padmini inches closer to title
International Master and defending champion Padmini Rout inched closer to retaining her title after settling for a draw with PSPB team mate Mary Ann Gomes in the tenth and penultimate round of 43rd National Women premier chess championship now drawing to a close here.
The draw with black pieces took Padmini to 7.5 points out of a possible ten and she is now up against top seed Eesha Karavade in her final round game. Trailing Padmini a half point behind is Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB who remained within striking distance of the leader after defeating Swati Ghate of LIC. It was a good day for the top two seeds too as Eesha defeated P Bala Kannamma while S Vijayalakshmi of Air India proved stronger than Pratyusha Bodda of Andhra Pradesh.
Eesha and Vijayalakshmi are the other two contenders in with a chance for a podium finish as both have 6.5 points apiece. While Soumya has her task cut out against Mary Ann Gomes, Vijayalakshmi will take on R Vaishali. It was an interesting day yet again as Padmini went for some wild complexities in an English opening as black. Mary accepted an exchange sacrifice and had to give it back soon enough to keep the black pieces in-check. As it happened, Mary had an extra pawn but Padmini was not short of counter play and the draw was a just result.
Results Round-10 :- Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB (4.5) drew with IM Padmini Rout of PSPB (7.5); Eesha Karavade of PSPB (6.5) beat Bala Kannamma P of TN (4); Pratyusha Bodda of AP (3.5) lost to S Vijayalakshmi of AI (6.5); Vaishali R of TN (3.5) beat Mahalakshmi M of TN (4); Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC (4) drew with Nisha Mohota of PSPB (4.5); Swati Ghate of LIC (4.5) lost to Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB (7)
Padmini remains a point ahead in National Chess
Two time champion and International Master Padmini Rout of PSPB remained on course to her third title triumph in the 43rd National Women Premier Championship after signing peace with lowest ranked but fast improving P Bala Kannamma in the ninth round encounter at Punjab Bhawan here today.
Playing with black pieces in a Sicilian Morra Gambit game, Padmini survived some anxious moments in the middle game against Bala but managed to escape unscathed after 46 moves. This crucial half point helped Padmini to take her tally to seven points out of possible nine to maintain her full point lead with two rounds remaining. Her teammate Soumya Swaminathan occupies the lone second spot on six points after splitting the point with Kiran Manisha Mohanty in the ninth round battle.
After poor show in the last two rounds, second seed and six time national champion S Vijayalakshmi produced a resounding victory over top seed Eesha Karavade in 52 moves. Playing the white side of a London system game Vijayalakshmi made sure Eesha did not run far away from her in terms on points and is now sharing the third position with the Pune-based on five and half points.
In other ninth round matches, former champion Swati Ghate of LIC defeated Mary Ann Gomes to register her fourth win in last five rounds while Nisha Mohota and Pratyusha Bodda outwitted Tamilnadu duo of R Vaishali and M Mahalakshmi respectively.
In the tenth round of Rs. 600000 championship tomorrow, Padmini is paired with Mary Ann Gomes while Soumya takes on Swati Ghate.
Results Round- 9 :- Swati Ghate of LIC (4.5) beat Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB (4); Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB (6) drew with Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC (3.5); Nisha Mohota of PSPB (4) beat R Vaishali of TN (2.5); Mahalakshmi M of TN (4) lost to Pratyusha Bodda of AP (3.5); S Vijayalakshmi of AI (5.5) beat Eesha Karavade of PSPB (5.5); Bala Kannamma P of TN (4) drew with Padmini Rout of PSPB (7)
Padmini beats Vijayalakshmi to stay ahead
Defending champion and International Master Padmini Rout of PSPB remained on course for her second straight title victory with a finely crafted victory against GM-elect S Vijayalakshmi of Air India in the eighth round of 43rd National Women Premier Chess Championship now underway here.
With just three rounds to come in the Rs. 600000/- prize money championship, Padmini took her tally to 6.5 points out of a possible eight and remained a full point ahead of her teammates Soumya Swaminathan and top seed Eesha Karavade. While Soumya and Eesha have 5.5 points apiece, none of the other competitors are in any position to challenge Padmini’s supremacy and barring a debacle the Odisha girl is likely to clinch the title from here.
Starting with the close Ruy Lopez as white, Padmini seized the initiative in the ensuing middle game and displayed fine form to increase her advantage. Vijayalakshmi never quite recovered and lost after 49 moves. In other important games of the day, Eesha defeated M Mahalakshmi using her white pieces well while Soumya proved superior to R Vaishali who played white.
Results Round- 8 :- Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB (4) beat Bala Kannamma P of TN (3.5); Padmini Rout of PSPB (6.5) beat Viajayalakshmi S of AI (4.5); Eesha Karavade of PSPB (5.5) beat Mahalakshmi M of TN (4); Pratyusha Bodda of AP (2.5) beat Nisha Mohota of PSPB (3); Vaishali R of TN (2.5) lost to Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB (5.5); Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC (3) lost to Swati Ghate of LIC (3.5)
Padmini Rout surges ahead
International Master and defending champion Padmini Rout of PSPB was held to a draw by M Mahalakshmi of Tamil Nadu but other results helped the Odisha girl surge ahead of the nearest contenders in the seventh round of 43rd National Women Premier chess championship here.
The draw helped Padmini take her tally to an impressive 5.5 points out of a possible seven and she benefitted further as S Vijayalakshmi of Air India suffered a shock defeat at the hands of lowest ranked P Bala Kannamma of Tamil Nadu. One day that saw top seed International Master Eesha Karavade also getting held to a draw by PSPB teammate Nisha Mohota, Padmini increased her lead to full point. Apart from Eesha and Vijayalakshmi, Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB is the other contender on 4.5 points sharing the second spot.
The eighth round will see the all-important clash between Padmini and Vijayalakshmi and might well end up as the decider for the Rs. 600000 prize money championship. Vijayalakshmi has been trying hard but this was another bad day in office for the six times champion. Playing the black side of a Nimzo Indian Rubenstein variation, Bala Kannamma had to find some precise moves after Vijayalakshmi sacrificed a pawn to liven things up. However, the higher rated did not get the desired compensation in the ensuing endgame and the pundits believed she could have drawn. In the end Bala Kannamma benefited with a full point after 79 moves.
Mahalakshmi has become a tough nut to crack. After winning against Vijayalakshmi in one of the earlier rounds, she held Padmini to a draw playing quite actively. It was a Grunfeld defense by Padmini and she had her chances after a fine looking piece sacrifice in the queen less middle game. Mahalakshmi however spotted a fine comeback to steer the game to a draw after 54 moves.
Results round 7: Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC (3) drew with Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB (3); Swati Ghate of LIC (2.5) beat R Vaishali of TN (2.5); Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB (4.5) beat Pratyusha Bodda of AP (1.5); Nisha Mohota of PSPB (3) drew with Eesha Karavade of PSPB (4.5); M Mahalakshmi of TN (4) drew with Padmini Rout of PSPB (5.5); S Vijayalakshmi of AI (4.5) lost to Bala Kannamma P of TN (3.5)
Padmini Rout in sole lead
International Master and defending champion Padmini Rout of PSPB remained on course for another title triumph by settling for a draw with teammate Soumya Swaminathan in the fifth round of the 43rd National Women Premier Chess Championship now in progress here.
On a day that witnessed hard-fought encounters and big upsets, Padmini was on the defensive side of a Catalan opening as black and did not face many problems in holding her fort against former world junior girls’ champion Soumya. The pieces changed hands at regular intervals in this encounter and the peace was signed after 59 moves.
The day belonged to M Mahalakshmi of Tamil Nadu who defeated over-night co-leader S Vijalakshmi of Air India in a fine display. Vijayalakshmi could have walked away with a draw in a routine position but went for unwarranted complications that led to ruins of her position. The game lasted 100 moves, but Mahalakshmi was on top for most of it once Vijayalakshmi decided it was ‘game on’ instead of a draw.
The biggest upset of the event thus far was recorded by Woman Grandmaster Swati Ghate of LIC who defeated her Pune city-mate and top seed Eesha Karavade of PSPB in a thrilling game. Swati went for a king side attack from a Caro Kann opening and for Eesha nothing worked right in the wild complexities that ensued. Swati won in 44 moves.
This was no ordinary day as Nisha Mohota of LIC also fought for 141 moves but lowest ranked P Bala Kannamma denied her senior partner a full point. The players had reached a rook versus Bishop end game in this duel. As a result of some fierce contest, Padmini Rout is now in sole first position on four points out of a possible five and Vijalakshmi and Soumya trail her a half point behind. There are six more rounds remaining in the Rs. 600000/- prize money championship.
Results (Round-5) :- R Vaishali of TN (2) drew with Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB (2.5); Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC (2) beat Pratyusha Bodda of AP (.5); Swati Ghate of LIC (1.5) beat Eesha Karavade of PSPB (3); Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB (3.5) drew with Padmini Rout of PSPB (4); Nisha Mohota of PSPB (2.5) drew with Bala Kannamma P of TN (2.5); Mahalakshmi M of TN (2.5) beat IM Vijayalakshmi S of AI (3.5)
Report Day 5
Viji, Padmini stay ahead
Six times national champion and Grandmaster-elect S Vijayalakshmi of Air India played another fine game to beat International Master Nisha Mohota of PSPB while IM Padmini Rout of PSPB accounted for Woman Grandmaster Swati Ghate of LIC in the fourth round of 43rd National Women Premier Chess Championship now underway here at Punjab Bhawan.
It seems like a race between Viji, as Vijayalakshmi is fondly called, and Padmini who both have had identical results in the first four rounds of the Rs. 600000/- prize money championship right from day one. One factor that separates them is the fact that Vijayalakshmi has been crushing opponents while defending champion Padmini has been making it count through sheer hard work on board. With Vijayalakshmi and Padmini on 3.5 points apiece, former champion and Woman Grandmaster Soumya Swaminathan and her PSPB teammate top seed International Master Eesha Karavade are closely following the two leaders with three points apiece. It looks as though these four will be there at the summit clash as well but with seven rounds still to come, P Bala Kannamma of TN and PSPB duo of Mary Ann Gomes and Nisha Mohota share the fifth spot with two points apiece.
Vijayalakshmi gave an endgame lesson to Nisha out of a Queen’s gambit declined game where the former played white. The middle game looked intense for some time but the Chennai-based quickly tore through the queen side to win a pawn and the resulting rook and minor piece endgame was child’s play. Gaining in confidence now, Padmini Rout again had to work hard and her tactical acumen proved superior to Swati Ghate.
Results round 4: Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB (2) drew with Mahalakshmi M of TN (1.5); Vijayalakshmi S of AI (3.5) beat Nisha Mohota of PSPB (2); Bala Kannamma P of TN (2) lost to Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB (3); Padmini Rout of PSPB (3.5) beat Swati Ghate of LIC (.5); Eesha Karavade of PSPB (3) beat Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC (1); Pratyusha Bodda of AP (.5) lost to Vaishali R of TN (1.5).
Report Day 4
Nisha Mohota tames Mahalakshmi
International Master Nisha Mohota of PSPB defeated former World Under-18 champion M Mahalakshmi of Tamil Nadu to record her first victory in the 43rd National Women women premier chess championship here at Punjab Bhawan.
Having started off rather sedately with two draws in the first two games, Nisha, who hails from Kolkata was at the top of her game against Mahalakshmi and used her experience to the maximum to carve out a fine victory.
The day just produced one decisive game in the 12-player round robin championship that carries a total prize pool of Rs. 600000/- with Rs. 175000 reserved for the winner. As a result of the drawing melee on the remaining five boards, S Vijayalakshmi and Padmini Rout continued to lead the tables despite drawing their third round encounter.
While eight rounds still remain to be played in the premier women event of the country, all eyes will be on Vijayalakshmi who is seeking her 7th title in the championship after a long hiatus. The Chennai based is the second seed and seems in good touch to bring back her magic of the nineties when even the toughest opposition feared her. Up against Soumya Swaminathan in this round, Viajayalakshmi was a little worse but her position always remained in control. Soumya Swamithan tried to convert her miniscule advantage in to a full point but realised soon enough that Vijayalakshmi, is a tough nut to crack.
For the third day in a row Padmini Rout was the last to finish her game making one wonder if the defending champion will hold her forte. Padmini was worse in the middle game against her Odisha state-mate Kiran Manisha Mohanty but salvaged a draw.
Results round 3: Pratyusha Bodda of AP (.5) drew with WGM Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB (1.5); Vaishali R of TN (.5) drew with Eesha Karavade of PSPB (2); Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC (1) drew with Padmini Rout of PSPB (2.5); Swati Ghate of LIC (.5) drew with Bala Kanamma P of TN (2); Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB (2) drew with S Vijayalakshmi of AI (2.5); Nisha Mohota of PSPB (2) beat Mahalakshmi M of TN (1)
Report Day 3
Vijayalakshmi, Padmini share lead
Second seed Grandmaster-elect S Vijayalakshmi of Air India and defending champion Padmini Rout of Petroleum Sports promotion board maintained a clean slate winning the second game in a row in the second round of the 43rd National women premier chess championship now underway here.
After a crushing victory over Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC in the previous round, Vijayalakshmi accounted for another LIC player – Woman Grandmaster Swati Ghate in another fine game displaying top form.
Padmini Rout had a lucky victory in the opener against Pratyusha Bodda of Andhra Pradesh but the Odisha girl struck form and R Vaishali of Tamil Nadu was no match after some wily manoeuvres.
With nine rounds still to come in the 12-players round-robin event, Vijayalakshmi and Padmini share lead on two points and they are now followed by PSPB duo of top seed Eesha Karavade and Asian continental bronze medallist Soumya Swaminathan.
In the decisive encounters of the day, Soumya outclassed M Mahalakshmi of Tamil Nadu while Eesha scored her first victory at the expense of Pratyusha Bodda.
In other games of the day, P Bala Kannamma continued with her fine run and held Kiran Manisha Mohanty to a draw while Mary Ann Gomes and Nisha Mohota also reached the same result.
Yet again the day belonged to Vijayalakshmi who played some imaginative chess beat Swati Ghate. The Queen pawn opening by the former was met by some irregular response and Vijayalakshmi was quick to seize the initiative in the middle game. The game ended through a picturesque tactical trick resulting in material gain for Vijayalakshmi. The game lasted 30 moves.
Being played at Punjab Bhawan the event carries a total prize pool of Rs. 600000/- with the winner’s purse being Rs. 175000/-.
Results round 2: Mary Ann Gomes (PSPB. 1) drew with Nisha Mohtoa (PSPB, 1); M Mahalakshmi (TN, 1) lost to Soumya Swaminathan (PSPB, 1.5); S Vijayalakshmi (AI, 2) beat Swati Ghate (LIC, 0); P Bala Kannamma (TN, 1.5) drew with Kiran Manisha Mohanty (LIC, 0.5); Padmini Rout (PSPB, 2) beat R Vaishali (TN, 0); Eesha Karavade (PSPB, 1.5) beat Pratyusha Bodda (AP, 0).
Report Day 2
Vijayalakshmi crushes Kiran Manisha Mohanty in opener
Second seed International Master S Vijayalakshmi crashed through the defences of Woman Grandmaster Kiran Manisha Mohanty in the first round of 43rd National Women premier chess championship now underway here at Punjab Bhawan.
Six times winner and with four Grandmaster norms in her kitty, Vijayalakshmi was a class act from a seemingly harmless position against Mohanty and gradually outplayed her younger rival in what was clearly a one-sided affair.
It turned out to be one of those rare days when players with black pieces ruled the roost. As many as four black victories in the opening round while the other two games in the 12-player double round robin event ended in draws.
Top seed International Master Eesha Karavade was held to a draw by Mary Ann Gomes in what was the shortest game of the day. Sensing things have gone wrong for her from a London system as white, Eesha played it safe.
The shocker of the day came from P Bala Kannamma who defeated her more fancied Tamil Nadu state-mate R Vaishali. The fierce battle between the two ended in favour of the lowest ranked Bala Kannamma as she was able to get to Vaishali’s king first.
In other decisive games of the day, defending champion Padmini Rout laboured to a victory from a long drawn game against Pratyusha Bodda while M Mahalakshmi proved superior to Swati Ghate.
The battle between Soumya Swaminathan and Nisha Mohota ended in a draw after a tense battle.
Results round 1: Kiran Manisha Mohanty lost to S Vijayalakshmi; Eesha Karavade drew with Mary Ann Gomes; R Vaishali lost to P Bala Kannamma; P Bodda lost to Padmini Rout; Soumya Swaminathan drew with Nisha Mohota; Swati Ghate lost to M Mahalakshmi
Report Day 1
Eesha Karavade starts as top seed in National Women Premier Chess
Back in the National championship after a long hiatus, International Master Eesha Karavade will start as the top seed in the 43rd edition of the National Women Premier Chess tournament that gets underway here at Punjab Bhawan.
Despite the top three rated players of the country missing, the National premier has turned out to amongst the most competitive in recent years with participation of several times National champion S Viajayalakshmi, current Asian Continental bronze medallist Soumya Swaminathan and Padmini Rout who all are International Masters.
While Eesha is the rating favourite, all eyes will be on Vijaylakshmi who is on a comeback trail for some time now. The Chennai based made an inconsequential fourth Grandmaster norm earlier this year at Chennai International.
At 37, Vijayalskhmi is also the oldest player in the premier event but those who have known her for a long time, know pretty well that age, when it comes to passion for chess, hasn’t caught up with the first Woman Grandmaster of the country.
The championship will be played over 11 rounds on a round-robin basis between 12-players. The normal time control with 90 minutes for the entire game with a 30 second increment after every move will be in place and in addition to the benefits of making it to the Indian women team there is also a total prize pool of Rs. 600000/- with Rs. 175000/- purse reserved for the winner.
Eesha Karavade is known to be matching wits with the men and her rating is a clear indication that she has been doing well. Playing quite consistently recently, Eesha’s main challenge will be to score heavily against lower ranked opponents as she has been playing higher ranked opposition off late.
Padmini Rout and Soumya Swaminathan have been a part of the Indian team for a long time now but the former is clearly having issues with her form off-late. The slide for Padmini Rout has continued for quite some time now and she has lost over 75 points from her career high rating recorded in March 2015.
Soumya has been consistently gaining in strength and was one of the mainstay behind Indian women’s fifth place finish at the Chess Olympiad in Baku in September last.
Among other players in the fray, former champion Mary Ann Gomes is another fierce competitor while talented R Vaishali will be raring to have a go against some of the best players of the country.
Participants: IM Eesha Karavade, WGM Soumya Swaminathan, IM Nisha Mohota, IM Padmini Rout, IM S Vijayalakshmi, WGM Mary Ann Gomes, WIM R Vaishali, WIM M Mahalakshmi, WGM Swati Ghate, WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty, Bala Kannamma P, Pratyusha Bodda,
Pairing round 1: Eesha Karavade vs Mary Ann Gomes; P Bodda vs Padmini Rout; R Vaishali vs P Bala Kannamma; Kiran Manish Mohanty vs S Vijayalakshmi; Swati Ghate vs M Mahalakshmi; Soumya Swaminathan vs Nisha Mohota.