Aradhya Garg and Srishti Pandey are the National Junior 2019 champions
Aradhya Garg of Delhi scored six consecutive victories in the last six rounds to win 49th National Junior open with a score of 9.0/11, beating three IMs in the last three rounds. Despite starting with a score of 3.0/5, Aradhya pulled off almost an unimaginable feat. In the girls section, Srishti Pandey of Maharashtra made a short draw in the final round win 34th National Junior girls with a score of 9.0/11, finishing a full point ahead of nine girls who finished at 8.0/11. Srishti lost her fourth round game and then scored an unbeaten 6.0/7 in the last seven games. Mitrabha Guha and Koustav Chatterjee finished at second and third position respectively in the open, Arpita Mukherjee and Aakanksha Hagawane finished at second and third in girls respectively. Photo: IA Jitendra Choudhary
Aradhya's awesome double hat-trick in the last six games
Double IM-norm holder Aradhya Garg of Delhi started out the tournament with a score of only 3.0/5, however he made an epic comeback and scored six straight victories in the final six rounds to become the champion. This is Aradhya's second consecutive tournament win after winning a rapid rating tournament in Delhi last month and his second National triumph after winning National under-17 open in 2014.
Aradhya defeated the overnight leader IM Koustav Chatterjee of West Bengal in the final round convincingly to win the tournament. Koustav needed a draw in the final round to become champion, but the loss meant he secured third position.
IM Sagar Shah conducted an interview with the champion Aradhya Garg and he mentioned that he is trained by Visweswaran, Farrukh Amonatov and Tejas Bakre.
His main aim in the tournament was to get in top six so that he could get exposure trips and training camps by GMs organized by AICF. After being on 3.0/5, he took one game at a time and he was able to score six consecutive victories. He beat four strong players of West Bengal in the last four rounds. He had crossed 2300 in 2017 itself, but last couple of years he focused on his education - he is studying Political Science at Kirori Mal College in Delhi. That is the reason why he had slowed down in chess. He has now become more serious and hopes to achieve more in the coming days. This National Junior win gave him a huge boost.
IM Mitrabha Guha of West Bengal defeated FM Srihari L R of Tamil Nadu in the final round to secure second position. He also scored 9.0/11, since he lost his game in the penultimate round against the eventual champion Aradhya Garg, his tie-break score was less. Srihari blundered a piece tactically and he spent the entire trying to recover that piece and restore balance.
Srishti's superb performance
After suffering a loss in the fourth round, Srishti made an amazing comeback by scoring 6.0/7 in her last seven games, remained unbeaten and clinched her first National age group title. Previously Srishti had won National Schools under-17 girls in 2017.
Srishti continued her momentum after securing her maiden WIM-norm at World Juniors a few days ago. Srishti's trainer is India's 62nd GM Swayams Mishra who is also a very successful FIDE Trainer.
When I reached out to Swayams for his views on Srishti's feat, this is what he had to say, "I started working with Srishti since October 2018. She has shown some drastic improvement specially over the last few months and has been performing consistently. She won Bronze in Western Asia, Commonwealth and played some good chess in Gujarat open, World Youth and World Junior (where she achieved her WIM norm). When National Junior started, I was confident that she will finish top six however winning the title came as a surprise.
I got a glimpse of her intellectual skills during the initial days of training and I believe that she is capable of achieving a lot more if she can channelize her energy in a proper way in the upcoming years.
For Srishti, I never had a proper training manual as she has a very different style and approach towards the game. She likes to experiment, plays anything and everything. So on regular training days I set her free and guide her in whatever she wants to do.
Aside from the regular chess training, I try to work on her psychological aspects. We are in constant touch during her tournaments.
For some reason, both Srishti and her mother had shown some immense confidence on me and had never doubted my decision regarding the choice of tournaments, opening choices etc.
So far, it's been a pleasure working with her!"
WIM Arpita Mukherjee of West Bengal made a short draw in just 15 moves with WFM Supreetha Potluri of Andhra Pradesh to secure the first runner-up position. WIM Aakanksha Hagawane was held to a draw by WFM Nityata Jain in the final round. Aakanksha secured third position.
For more prize distribution ceremony photos, click here.
49th National Junior open and 34th National Junior girls witnessed a total of 289 players including 172 in open and 115 in girls from 29 different states including a few union territories participated in this tournament hosted at Suncity World School in Gurgaon, Haryana, organized by District Chess Association Gurgaon.
Round 11 results in Open
|1||1||IM||Koustav Chatterjee||2449||8½||0 - 1||8||Aradhya Garg||2165||20|
|2||9||FM||Srihari L R||2286||7½||0 - 1||8||IM||Mitrabha Guha||2443||2|
|3||8||IM||Srijit Paul||2317||7½||1 - 0||7½||Dere Pushkar||1876||52|
|4||15||FM||Aaryan Varshney||2236||7½||1 - 0||7½||Avinash Ramesh||1686||90|
|5||14||Sibi Visal R||2238||7||½ - ½||7½||Soham Kamotra||2189||16|
|6||3||FM||Anuj Shrivatri||2376||7||1 - 0||7||Gaurav Rajesh Zagade||2173||19|
|7||5||Harshavardhan G B||2360||7||1 - 0||7||Kumar Gaurav||2038||28|
|8||23||Barath Kalyan M||2069||7||0 - 1||7||Saurabh Anand||2278||10|
|9||36||Hemanth Raam||1992||7||0 - 1||7||FM||Jeet Jain||2264||13|
|10||37||Selvamurugan B||1979||7||1 - 0||7||CM||Bhavesh Mahajan||2187||17|
Round 11 results in Girls
|1||9||WFM||Bommini Mounika Akshaya||2087||7½||½ - ½||8½||WFM||Pandey Srishti||2140||6|
|2||3||WIM||Aakanksha Hagawane||2227||7½||½ - ½||7½||WFM||Jain Nityata||1927||17|
|3||10||Priyanka K||2067||7½||½ - ½||7½||WIM||Chitlange Sakshi||2185||5|
|4||14||WFM||Potluri Supreetha||1968||7½||½ - ½||7½||WIM||Arpita Mukherjee||2234||2|
|5||8||WFM||Salonika Saina||2100||7||1 - 0||7||WIM||Priyanka Nutakki||2272||1|
|6||7||WCM||Sharma Isha||2139||7||0 - 1||7||Bhagyashree Patil||1970||13|
|7||12||WFM||Savitha Shri B||2004||6½||1 - 0||7||WFM||Greeshma Anand Dhumal||1837||23|
|8||4||WFM||Makhija Aashna||2191||6½||0 - 1||6½||Divyabharathi Masanam||1743||27|
|9||11||Toshali V||2057||6½||1 - 0||6½||Kiruthika B||1645||34|
|10||15||Ghosh Samriddhaa||1964||6½||½ - ½||6½||WCM||Arushi Kotwal||1756||25|
Final Standings in Open
|10||5||Harshavardhan G B||IND||2360||TN||8,0||0,0||67,5||72,0|
|12||9||FM||Srihari L R||IND||2286||TN||7,5||0,0||72,0||77,0|
|14||32||Aakash Sharadchandra Dalvi||IND||2017||Mah||7,5||0,0||68,5||73,0|
|16||34||Akshit Kumar J||IND||2014||AP||7,5||0,0||66,5||71,5|
|18||14||Sibi Visal R||IND||2238||TN||7,5||0,0||64,5||69,5|
Final Standings in Girls
|4||9||WFM||Bommini Mounika Akshaya||IND||2087||AP||8,0||0,0||73,0||79,0|
|12||22||Poorna Sri M.K||IND||1848||TN||7,5||0,0||67,0||72,0|
|15||12||WFM||Savitha Shri B||IND||2004||TN||7,5||0,0||63,5||67,0|