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MPL 48th National Women R5: Aashna astounds Sakshi

by Shahid Ahmed - 31/12/2022

WIM Aashna Makhija outplayed WIM Sakshi Chitlange to emerge sole leader at MPL 48th National Women Chess Championship 2022. Aashna's preparation worked out in her favor to take her score to 5/5. Former multi-time National Women champion, WGM Mary Ann Gomes is the only player trailing her by a half point 4.5/5. The exciting battle between the top two seeds WGM Vantika Agrawal and WGM Divya Deshmukh ended in a draw. Although it was Vantika who was better for the majority of the game. She somehow allowed her opponent to escape with a draw. Aashna will face Mary in the sixth round which starts today at 10:30 a.m. Photo: Maharashtra Chess Association

Top two seeds have an exciting battle

Apart from the top board clash. the rating favorites won the decisive ganes among the top seven boards. WCM Bristy Mukherjee (WB) and Rindhiya V (TN) defeated WGM Varshini V (TN) and WIM Mounika Akshaya (AP); WFM Supreetha Potluri (AP) and Dakshita Kumawat (RAJ) held WIM Arpita Mukherjee (WB) and WIM Srishti Pandey (MAH) to a draw each respectively.

WIM Aashna Makhija (MAH) is the sole leader 5/5 | Photo: Maharashtra Chess Association

Official logo of MPL 48th National Women Chess Championship 2022 | Photo: Chess Association Kolhapur

Sakshi - Aashna: 0-1

It is rightly said, "To be prepared is half the victory" by Miguel de Cervantes. WIM Aashna Makhija (MAH, 2123) showed that it really does not matter which color you get, what matters is how good you are prepared. She played a line in the QGD against which WGM-elect WIM Sakshit Chitlange (MAH, 2213) seemed to have not enough preparation.

Position after 15.Rc1

15.Rc1 is where White went wrong at first. 15...Bd7 and White is losing one of the a4 or b2 pawns. 15.0-0 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Bxc3 17.Rab1 Bxd4 18.Bxd4 Rxd4 19.Rfd1 is how White should have continued but if one does not know this, it is certainly not easy to work out that this is a better way to let the pawn go and get some compensation as it is not possible to avoid a pawn loss. Soon White landed herself in a lost endgame in 22 moves where Black had an outside passed pawn.

Divya - Vantika: 0.5-0.5

WGM Divya Deshmukh (MAH, 2347) landed herself in deep trouble by launching an ambitious attack on her opponent WGM Vantika Agrawal's (DEL, 2352) kingside.

Position after 32.f5

32.f5 was uncalled for. 32.Nb3 unpinning the bishop should have been prioritized. Time scramble is probably the reason Black could not find 32...gxf5 33.h6 Nxe5 which is winning for her. Black opted for 32...Nxe5 immediately. 33.hxg6 fxg6 34.Nb3 Nf7 35.Qh4 h6 36.fxg6 Ng5 still gave Black a substantial advantage. 37.Rhe3 Rf8 38.Bb2 Rxb3!? 39.cxb3 and now c5 would have been perfect to open the long diagonal and bring the bishop via b7. 39...Bxd4 40.Ba1 Bxe3+ 41.Rxe3 Nh3+ 42.Qxh3 Qd1+ 43.Kg2 Qxa1 the attack diminished, soon the queens were traded and the game drifted into a draw.

WGM Divya Deshmukh (MAH) escaped a precarious position against WGM Vantika Agrawal (DEL) | Photo: Maharashtra Chess Association

WGM Mary Ann Gomes (PSPB) defeated WFM Vishwa Shah (MAH) comfortably to move to 4.5/5 | Photo: Maharashtra Chess Association

A total of 102 players including 3 IMs, 7 WGMs and 12 WIMs are taking part in this tournament organized by Chess Association Kolhapur. The event is taking place at Sanjay Ghodawat University, Kolhapur, Maharasahtra from 26th December 2022 to 5th January 2023. The 11-round Swiss league tournament has a time control of 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes with an increment of 30 seconds from move no.1

Replay Round 5 games

Round 5 results

18WIMChitlange SakshiMaharashtra40 - 14WIMMakhija AashnaMaharashtra20PGN
22WGMDivya DeshmukhMaharashtra½ - ½WGMVantika AgrawalDelhi1PGN
34WGMGomes Mary AnnPSPB1 - 0WFMShah VishwaMaharashtra17PGN
424WGMKiran Manisha MohantyLIC30 - 13IMSoumya SwaminathanPSPB3PGN
529Potluri Saye SrreezzaTelangana30 - 13IMKulkarni BhaktiGoa5PGN
610WIMArpita MukherjeeWest Bengal3½ - ½3WFMPotluri SupreethaAndhra Pradesh39PGN
730WFMLakshmi CTamil Nadu30 - 13WGMSrija SeshadriTamil Nadu11PGN
855Dakshita KumawatRajasthan3½ - ½3WIMPandey SrishtiMaharashtra13PGN
941WCMBristy MukherjeeWest Bengal31 - 03WGMVarshini VTamil Nadu15PGN
1016WIMBommini Mounika AkshayaAndhra Pradesh30 - 13Rindhiya VTamil Nadu43PGN


Round 6 pairings

120WIMMakhija AashnaMaharashtra5WGMGomes Mary AnnPSPB4
21WGMVantika AgrawalDelhi44WIMChitlange SakshiMaharashtra8
311WGMSrija SeshadriTamil Nadu44WGMDivya DeshmukhMaharashtra2
43IMSoumya SwaminathanPSPB44Sunyuktha C M NTamil Nadu40
55IMKulkarni BhaktiGoa44WCMBristy MukherjeeWest Bengal41
643Rindhiya VTamil Nadu4WIMMahalakshmi MRSPB6
79WIMSharma IshaKarnatakaDakshita KumawatRajasthan55
817WFMShah VishwaMaharashtraWIMArpita MukherjeeWest Bengal10
919WIMMrudul DehankarMaharashtraWIMAakanksha HagawaneMaharashtra12
1013WIMPandey SrishtiMaharashtraWGMSwati GhateLIC25



Tournament Regulations

Chess Association Kolhapur: Official site, and facebook

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