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Priyanka Nutakki earns WGM title, 3rd in National Women and National Junior Girls champion in 11 days

by Shahid Ahmed - 19/03/2022

Priyanka Nutakki became India's 23rd Woman Grandmaster and secured third place at MPL 47th National Women Chess Championship on 2nd March 2022. Exactly a week later, she started as the top seed at MPL 35th National Junior Girls Chess Championship 2022. It was her final attempt. Just like all three previous National age group titles, she won this one also in her final appearance. It is considered final attempt as she becomes ineligible for the following edition as per the age group criteria. How did the 19-year-old girl from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh achieve them all in just a span of eleven tournament days? We find out in this article.

Four National age group titles in her final attempts

Priyanka Nutakki certainly had the best fortnight of her chess career so far. She played 18 games in 11 tournament days, scoring 14.5 points, suffering only one loss and five draws. She also gained 10.6 Elo rating points combining both events.

MPL 35th National Junior Girls Champion - WGM Priyanka Nutakki 7.0/8

Priyanka scored an unbeaten 7.5/9

We caught up with Priyanka after he won the MPL 35th National Junior Chess Championship 2022 Girls, to get to know her thoughts.


Shahid Ahmed (SA): You have won all your National age-group titles in your final attempt - Under-9 in 2011, Under-11 in 2013, Under-13 in 2015 and now under-20 in 2022. Would you say that it is just a coincidence or final attempt motivates you that much??

Priyanka Nutakki (PN): Probably a hidden motivation or push for final attempt which reminds me that there is no chance for another attempt.

Priyanka Nutakki won National Under-9 Girls in 2011

Priyanka Nutakki became National Under-11 Girls champion in 2013

Priyanka Nutakki won the 29th National Sub-Junior (Under-15) Girls Chess Championship in 2015

SA: WGM title, 3rd in National Women and now National Junior Girls champion. Would you say this has been the best 17 days of your life?

PN: Yes, definitely one of my best months till date in my career.

SA: This is your fourth National age group title. How would you like to grade them all?

PN: Nothing can be graded as least, but my favorite would be winning U-9 National Championship as it’s my first National Medal.


SA: You said in your interview with Sagar, few days ago that you have been the top seed of National Junior for three consecutive years, yet you had never won. What was different this time?

PN: As mentioned above, final attempt probably keeps me motivated. So that could be the reason I could crack the Jinx this time.

The 23rd WGM of India - Priyanka Nutakki | Video: ChessBase India

SA: I found that in 2016 you played National Junior in Open category which took place in your home state, Andhra Pradesh. What was the reason for that?

PN: I wanted to give it a try in open category and experience the different kind of competition in that group.


SA: Whom would you say was the toughest challenge in your path towards National Junior title?

PN: I’d say my game against Lakshmi C was of a roller coaster ride, where the last mistake was made by her and hence I could win the game and take the lead.


SA: Yes, your game against Lakshmi C was an exciting one. She could have made things difficult had she spotted 26...Ng4. Did you calculate the line? Were you relieved that she did not play it?

Priyanka - Lakshmi, Round 6

Position after 26.Be2

PN: Yes, honestly I’ve taken a few impulsive decisions in the game which led my position to worse from a clearly better position. After 23.Ne6, I was more or less worse. She was under serious time pressure. So I was just hoping for some luck in my favor which eventually happened.

WFM Lakshmi C was the closest to score a win against WGM Priyanka Nutakki | Photo: IA Jitendra Choudhary

SA: In the penultimate round, against Samriddhaa Ghosh, you played 14...f5, staying true to your aggressive style. However, things could have become wobbly for your king if she went 17.Rfe1 instead 17.Bd4. You were this close to your championship, still you took a big risk. What was going through your mind at that time?

Samriddhaa - Priyanka, Round 8

Position after 16...Bxf5

PN: Again, the opening was kind of a disaster to say the least, and if not for 14...f5 I was not sure how else to continue at that point, my position was too passive. I thought the only way I could do something is by going all in and see where things would end.

WGM Priyanka Nutakki went all in against Samriddhaa Ghosh and it worked out for her | Photo: IA Jitendra Choudhary

SA: When you drew the final round game and realized that you have become the National Junior champion, how did that make you feel?

PN: Of course, things could have been much better, but I was satisfied that I got to hold the cup at last.

WGM Priyanka Nutakki receives the MPL 35th National Junior Girls Champion's trophy and prize | Photo: IA Jitendra Choudhary

SA: What was your parents, family and friends reaction when you won the National Junior title after having a phenomenal fortnight?

PN: They were happy and proud that I have finally got the Junior title that I’ve dreamt of.

Priyanka Nutakki with her family

SA: What did your coach tell you during and at the end of the tournament?

PN: He guided me throughout the event and was really happy that he could achieve his dream through his students.

Priyanka Nutakki's coach is GM FT Swayams Mishra

SA: You are very soft-spoken, yet over the board you prefer aggressive style and sometimes positional when required as mentioned by you earlier. Do you do anything specific to keep yourself calm?

PN: Listening to music helps me stay calm when I’m stressed.

Priyanka practicing at home

SA: How did you celebrate all your triumphs you had in the past 2.5 weeks?

PN: I kept running from one tournament to the other. So I was in short of time to celebrate, but now I am planning to take a short break and spend some quality time with my family.


SA: You have already mentioned that you wish to become an IM by the end of this year. So what's next for you?

PN: I haven’t really decided yet, I will check the calendar and soon plan the tournaments accordingly.

Priyanka Nutakki received her World Under-10 Gold medal from Garry Kasparov

SA: What would be your message to those who are trying to bring consistency in their game, now that you have become WGM and clinched four different National age group title?

PN: Winning and losing has many factors associated, so perseverance is the key is what I believe. Never give up though many things keep pulling us down for time being.


SA: How excited are you to know that Chess Olympiad will take place in India this year?

Chess Olympiad 2022 will take place in Chennai, India this year

PN: It’s great news, and I’m really excited that India is going to organize Olympiad! This will definitely bring more attention and popularity to the game.


SA: Thank you Priyanka for taking the time to answer all the questions. I wish you the very best in your future endeavors.

PN: Thank you.

Final Standings

Rk.SNoNamesexFEDRtgIClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 Krtg+/-
11WIMPriyanka NutakkiwIND2301Andhra Pradesh7,551,055,046,000,0620-13,8
23WFMBhagyashree PatilwIND1974Maharashtra7,549,553,543,000,074029,6
324Femil ChelladuraiwIND1596Tamil Nadu7,046,550,536,000,0740107,6
421Divyabharathi MasanamwIND1711Tamil Nadu6,550,054,037,000,0540112,0
54WFMLakshmi CwIND1968Tamil Nadu6,549,554,037,000,0520-2,6
68Ghosh SamriddhaawIND1877West Bengal6,547,051,033,750,06207,4
72WFMBommini Mounika AkshayawIND2145Andhra Pradesh6,546,050,535,500,0620-34,0
827Marium FatimawIND1511Bihar6,544,547,533,500,0540117,6
931Sajitha BwIND1455Tamil Nadu6,543,045,531,000,0540120,0
1025Kanishka SwIND1528Tamil Nadu6,542,045,029,000,064076,8


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