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Bhakti Sensational at National Rapid and Blitz 2019

by Shahid Ahmed - 04/06/2019

The reigning National Women's Champion WGM Bhakti Kulkarni had a fantastic run at National Rapid and Blitz 2019. She scored 8.0/11 in both Rapid and Blitz each to secure 8th and 3rd position respectively. This is the best performance by a woman in the National Rapid and Blitz event for the past five years. Previous best was by her only in 2014 when she scored 7.0/11 and 7.5/11 to secure 11th and 8th position respectively in Rapid and Blitz. In this article we interview her to get to know about her performance and her best game from the tournament. Photo: Kanwarjeet/Punjab Kesari  

Bhakti lightning fast at National Rapid and Blitz 2019

WGM Bhakti Kulkarni finished at 8th and 3rd position in National Rapid and Blitz 2019 | Photo: Kanwarjeet/Punjab Kesari

An interview was conducted with the reigning National Women's Champion WGM Bhakti Kulkarni by the author of this article after the conclusion of the tournament.


Shahid Ahmed (SA): Congratulations Bhakti for your second runner-up finish at National Blitz 2019. How do you feel about your performance?

Bhakti's performance at National Rapid and Blitz 2019

Bhakti Kulkarni (BK): I feel very satisfied and honoured. As a woman I am proud to be one of the first to win medal in open National Championships.


SA: Did you know that this is the best performance for a woman at National Rapid and Blitz in the last five years? The previous best was by you only in 2014 when you scored 7.0/11 and finished 11th in Rapid and 7.5/11 in Blitz finishing at 8th position in Ahmedabad.

BK: Oh... I have never thought of that. Thanks for telling me that I am improving!


SA: What was your preparation and mindset going into the tournament?

Bhakti with Arjuna Awardee Anupama Gokhale and Dronacharya Award winner Raghunandan Gokhale | Photo: ChessBase India archives

BK: I went for 3 days to Mumbai for few tips from Gokhale Sir. We devised few strategies about both Rapid and Blitz tournaments. My mindset for these tournaments was to just enjoy every game and give my best till the last second. 


SA: Did you plan on playing this as a part of a practice before you head for Asian Continental?

Bhakti was at ChessBase India office discussing her games before leaving for National Rapid and Blitz 2019 | Video: Sagar Shah

BK: Yes! That exactly was the plan to get some serious on board practice. And I am happy that it turned out well.


SA: Which one do you like more Rapid or Blitz? Why?

Bhakti in action in her hometown last year | Photo: Amruta Mokal

BK: I like Blitz a lot as I feel my instincts are better than calculations. I am  uncomfortable playing Rapid as it is exactly between Blitz and Classical. I have to work on it.


SA: Do you like faster time controls in general or Classical?

BK: Nowadays I rarely get into time pressure. So I like faster time controls especially Blitz!


SA: Which game would you describe to be your best from the tournament in both Rapid and Blitz?

BK: My win in Rapid over IM Dinesh Kumar Sharma was smooth.


SA: Do you play blitz matches online or over-the-board? Which one do you prefer?

BK: I hardly play online or over the board. Still I get good results in blitz.


SA: Do you plan on playing the next World Rapid and Blitz?

Bhakti shared her joy in a tweet

BK: Sure! I would love to play next World Rapida and Blitz.


SA: Thank you Bhakti for your time. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

BK: Thank you Shahid.


WGM Bhakti Kulkarni will be heading for Asian Continental at Xingtai, China in a couple of days and she is just 20 ELO Rating points away from becoming India's next IM.

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