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Savitha Shri B becomes the 25th Woman Grandmaster of India

by Shahid Ahmed - 14/04/2023

A day after India got its 24th Woman Grandmaster in the form of Rakshitta Ravi, Savitha Shri B became India's 25th WGM. The World Rapid Women 2022 Bronze medalist, earned her final WGM-norm at Fagernes GM Open 2023. Just like Rakshitta, after becoming a WGM, Savitha also secured her maiden IM-norm at the same event. The teenager from Chennai earned her maiden WGM-norm by winning the Asian Junior Girls 2021. Seven months later, she secured her second norm at Pardubice Open 2022 and also crossed 2300 for the first time in her career. Last year she etched her name in the record books by becoming the youngest player ever to win a medal at a World Rapid event. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Final WGM-norm in eight games and maiden IM-norm at the same event

The former World Under-12 Girls champion, Savitha Shri B increased her rating from 2257 to 2435 last year. She became India no.4 among women, got a great opportunity to play at the inaugural Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz Women event. If one takes a look at her overall score at that event, one would certainly not be able to understand the impact it had on her career. Playing against the likes of GM Nana Dzagnidze (GEO), GM Anna Muzychuk (UKR), GM Koneru Humpy, GM Anna Ushenina (UKR) and GM Harika Dronavalli, prepared her for the World Rapid Women 2022 where she earned a historic Bronze medal. She has already scored an IM-norm and crossed 2400 in the September 2022 FIDE Rating list, which means she only required two more IM-norms to become an International Master. It is just a matter of time before she becomes an IM. 

WIM Savitha Shri B becomes the 25th Woman Grandmaster of India | Photo: Lennart Ootes
Meet India's 25th WGM - 16-year-old Savitha Shri + how she beat the first 2600+ GM of her life | Video: ChessBase India

First WGM-norm: Asian Junior Girls 2021

WIM Savitha Shri B won Gold at Asian Junior Girls 2021. Winning the championship earned her first WGM-norm in Waskaduwa, Sri Lanka. Savitha won her first five games in-a-row before she drew the next four games to become champion.

Savitha - Priyanka K, Round 5

Position after 29.Bxb5

WIM Savitha Shri B (2281) got a decisive advantage after 20.Nd4! against WIM Priyanka K (2218). However, 29.Bxb5 is the breakthrough White needed to realize her advantage into a win. 29...Rxb5 30.Rxb5 Qxb5 31.Ne7+ Kd7 32.c4 Qxc4 33.Qxf6 Qe4+ 34.Ka1 Qe2 35.Rb1 and White won the game in the next few moves.

WIM Savitha Shri B won the Asian Junior Girls 2021 Championship | Photo: Chess Federation of Sri Lanka

WIM Savitha Shri B scored an unbeaten 7/9 to win Gold at Asian Junior Girls 2021 and earn her first WGM-norm

Second WGM-norm: Pardubice Open 2022

Seven months later, WIM Savitha Shri B secured her second WGM-norm at Czech Open Pardubice 2022. She defeated GM Bryan Smith (USA), drew with GM Petr Neuman (CZE), IM Hampus Sorensen (SWE), IM Michal Luch (POL) and IM Alexis Tahay (FRA). The teenager scored 5/9, performed at 2404 and gained 60.8 Elo rating points, crossing 2300 for the first time in her career.

Savitha - Bryan, Round 2

Position after 21...Qb6

GM Bryan Smith (USA, 2421) went wrong with his plan to take the g6-pawn via 21...Qb6. WIM Savitha Shri B (2278) seized her opportunity 22.Rab1 Qxg6 +23.Kh2 f3 24.Nxb7+ and Black's position fell apart in a hurry.

WIM Savitha Shri B at Czech Open Pardubice 2019 | Photo: Czech Open

Savitha scored 5/9, gained 60.8 Elo rating points to secure her second WGM-norm

Third WGM-norm and First IM-norm: Fagernes GM Open 2023

Savitha scored her final WGM-norm at Fagernes GM Open 2023 in eight games. In the same event, she also earned her maiden IM-norm. The World Rapid Women 2022 Bronze medalist, defeated GM Sethuraman S P, IM Elham Abdulrauf (NOR) and drew with IM Erik Hedman (SWE). She scored 5/9 to become India's latest Woman Grandmaster.

Savitha - Sethuraman, Round 2

Position after 21.Rea3

The above position seems like King's Indian Defence gone wrong for Black. The queen and knight are misplaced, White is controlling the a-file. 21...Rb8 only worsened things further 22.R1a2 White is biding her time Qe7 23.Nc3 Nd8 time to invade with the rook and attack the c7-pawn at the same time 24.Ra7 Rc8 25.c5 striking at the weakness. 25...bxc5 26.bxc5 fxe4 27.Nxe4 Nf7 28.R2a6 Rfd8 29.h4 dxc5?? 30.d6 Nxd6 and it's over as White can take 31.Nxd6. Black has no way to regain the material.

Winning against GM Sethuraman S P is no easy task, Savitha managed to accomplish it | Photo: Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

WIM Savitha Shri B at Fagernes GM Open 2023 in Norway | Photo: Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

Savitha Shri B scored 5.5/9, gained 54.4 Elo rating points en route her final WGM-norm and maiden IM-norm

The 24 Indian woman who became Woman Grandmasters - Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi (2001), Koneru Humpy (2001), Aarthie Ramaswamy (2003), Nisha Mohota (2003), Harika Dronavalli (2004), Subbaraman Meenakshi (2004), Swati Ghate (2004), Tania Sachdev (2005). Eesha Karavade (2005), Padmini Rout (2007), Mary Ann Gomes (2008), Soumya Swaminathan (2008), Kruttika Nadig (2009), Kiran Manisha Mohanty (2010), Bhakti Kulkarni (2012), R Vaishali (2018), Srija Seshadri (2019), Nandhidhaa P V (2020), Pratyusha Bodda (2020), Varshini V (2020), Divya Deshmukh (2021), Vantika Agrawal (2021), Priyanka Nutakki (2022) and Rakshitta Ravi (2023).

Replay Savitha's games


15-year-old Savitha Shri is the youngest ever in the history of chess to win a medal at World Rapid Chess Championship | Video: ChessBase India
15-year-old Savitha Shri beats a seasoned Georgian GM Bela Khotenashvili | Video: ChessBase India
Savitha Shri leads with 6.5/8 at World Rapid 2022 Women | Video: ChessBase India
Savitha Shri beats former Women's World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova | Video: ChessBase India
13-year-old Savitha fights like a Lion against Nihal Sarin - Super Juniors Cup 2020 | Video: ChessBase India
"Being here is just amazing, I learnt a lot" - 14-year-old Savitha Shri | Video: ChessBase India
"Watching Marvel movies helped me a lot " Savitha Shri | Video: ChessBase India
Nihal Sarin + Divya Deshmukh vs Pragg + Savitha Shri | Doubles Match | Super Heroes Cup | Video: ChessBase India
Why Savitha Shri will be one of the finest female players in the years to come! | Video: ChessBase India
Chess Triples! AD, Shyam, Savitha vs Pragg, Nihal, Vaishali | FIDE Online Olympiad 2021 | Video: ChessBase India
Top Indian Talents Unfiltered ft. Pragg, Gukesh, Nihal, Raunak, Vaishali, Leon, Savitha | Video: ChessBase India
How talented is World Under-12 girls champion - Savitha Shri? | Video: ChessBase India
He left his job as an electrician in Singapore, so that his daughter Savitha Shri can play chess! | Video: ChessBase India
WGM Divya Deshmukh vs WIM Savitha Shri B | National Blitz 2023 | Video: ChessBase India
The battle of two future champions of India - Sahithi Varshini against Savitha Shri | Video: ChessBase India


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Savitha Shri Baskar: The next big name in Women chess

@ 27/08/2022 by Himank Ghosh (en)

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