Padmini Rout beats K Priyanka to retain national title

Kolkata :Defending champion and top seed Padmini Rout of Odisha retained the RamRatna Women’s National Premier Chess Championship title despite her final round loss against K Priyanka of Tamil Nadu at ICCR today.

Playing against low-ranked K Priyanka in the final the round, Padmini faced a stubborn defence from her opponent and the Tamil Nadu girl broke through the defence of top seed for a meomorable win.

Despite the loss Padmini reigned supreme with 8.5 points in the 11-round league, organised by Diaspora Times under the aegis of Bengal Chess Association.

Padmini clinched a glittering Trophy and a cash prize of Rs 1.75 lakhs, while Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB got the better of Swati Ghate of LIC to bag the runner-up position.

Soumya sacrificed a piece for two pawns on the 30th move which gave her a strong attack as Swati tried hard to consolidate her position but Soumya’s passed g pawn proved decisive.

There was a tie for the second place among Soumya, Bhakti Kulkarni and Swati—on 7.5 points apiece but the former took clinched the second spot and cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, while Bhakti Kulkarni of Goa was placed third on SB tie breaking points.

Bhakti received Rs 80,000 and Swati had to be content with the fourth place and a cash award of Rs 60,000.

Bhakti Kulkarni of Goa had little difficulty with black, in getting the better of Neha Singh of Bihar. Neha ended the tournament with 1 point as she made yet another blunder to lose a pawn and resigned immediately on the 23rd move.

Former National champion, Tania Sachdev of Air India who had a miserable tournament managed to salvage her pride and some rating points with a crucial final round win over V Varshini with black in a Ruy Lopez opening.

Final Standings
1 Padmini Rout 8.5 points; 2 Soumya Swaminathan 7.5; 3 Bhakti Kukarni 7.5; 4 Swati Ghate 7.5; 5 Pratyusha Bodda 6.5; 6 R Vaishali 6.5; 7 Tania Sachdev; 8 Michelle Catherina; 9 Priyanka Nutakki 4.5; 10 V Varshini 4; 11 K Priyanka 3; 12 Neha Singh 1.