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Soumya Swaminathan starts as the top seed at 44th National Women Challengers

by C.K.Muralidharan - 21/07/2017

Soumya, Mary, Vaishali, Swati, Nisha, Bhakti - so many big names of Indian chess are taking part at the 44th National Women Challengers 2017. Eight spots are at stake for the National Premier 2017. In this article, our author from Mysore C.K. Muralidharan gives you all the information you need to get warmed up for this event. Who do you think will win this event? As always ChessBase India has a contest, with a chance for you to show your forecasting skills!

A keen fare is expected in the premier women's chess event in the country (National 'B'), the 44th FIDE rated National Women's challengers chess tournament 2017, conducted by the Mysore Chess centre, under the aegis of the UKCA and AICF which will kick off to a start at Mysore Sports Club's premises in Mysuru on 21st July and will conclude on 29th July 2017.


The championships will see some of the best women chess players in the
country in action in the 9-day tournament. The strong event will see
former National champions WGM Soumya Swaminathan (PSPB), WGM Mary Ann Gomes (PSPB), IM Nisha Mohota (PSPB) and WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy in action. The tournament will have 7 WGMs, 1 IM, 9 WIMs, 9 WFMs, 6 WCMs and 1 AFM in action in a field of 123 players.

Starting rank

No.   Name FideID FED Rtg Club/City
1 WGM Soumya Swaminathan 5016193 IND 2349 PSPB
2 WGM Gomes Mary Ann 5013623 IND 2331 PSPB
3 WIM Vaishali R 5091756 IND 2327 TN
4 WGM Swati Ghate 5003474 IND 2278 LIC
5 IM Mohota Nisha 5004330 IND 2271 PSPB
6 WGM Kulkarni Bhakti 5019516 IND 2255 AI
7 WIM Pratyusha Bodda 5000629 IND 2236 AP
8 WIM Nandhidhaa Pv 5050847 IND 2221 AAI
9 WFM Srija Seshadri 5055903 IND 2200 DEL
10 WIM Pujari Rucha 5024528 IND 2191 MAH
11 WGM Meenakshi Subbaraman 5004381 IND 2181 AAI
12   Harshita Guddanti 25043250 IND 2180 AP
13 WIM Michelle Catherina P 5005736 IND 2177 AI
14 WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty 5019575 IND 2170 LIC
15   Nimmy A.G. 5015308 IND 2167 KER
16 WIM Mahalakshmi M 5001080 IND 2154 TN
17 WIM Parnali S Dharia 5043131 IND 2140 MAH
18 WCM Chandreyee Hajra 5056535 IND 2124 WB
19 WIM Chitlange Sakshi 35002899 IND 2112 MAH
20 WFM Arpita Mukherjee 5056403 IND 2100 WB

Check the complete player's list

Soumya Swaminathan starts as the top seed and is a favourite to win the title
Mary Ann Gomes is the second seed
It would be very interesting to see how this youngster R. Vaishali fares. She has already won the title of National Women Challengers in 2015.

Will the Commonwealth Champion Swati Ghate continue her good run here as well?
Nisha Mohota is in need of a strong tournament, will this be the one for her?

ChessBase India contest:

Three months of ChessBase Premium Account is at stake here. All you have to do is tell us who will be the 44th National Women's Challengers Champion. Write your answers in the comments section below.


Note: At the Commonwealth Championships that ended a few days ago, we asked our readers who would win the the women's title. We got a lot of comments with names of many top players like Padmini, Soumya, Tania etc. In the end it was Swati Ghate who lifted the title and only one person Shyam Prasad had guessed that! So have a good look at the starting list and choose your champion!

What is at stake? 

123 women chess players will take part in the tournament which
will have 11 rounds and it will be conducted on a Swiss league basis.
The top 8 players in this tournament will earn selection to take part
in the National 'A' championships to be held in Gujarat later this year.

Three Lakh Cash Prizes

1st Place


7th Place


2nd  Place


8th Place


3rd Place


9th Place


4th Place


10th Place


5th Place


11th-20th Place


6th Place



The tournament carries a total prize fund of Rs.3 lakhs
along with trophies for the winners. Players from institutions like
PSPB, LIC, Air India, Airports Authority of India and from different
states will be seen in action.The first round of the tournament begins
on Friday afternoon.


Players Arrival

20th  July

06:00 PM

Round 6

24th July

03:30 PM

Players Meet

21st  July

01:00 PM

Round 7

25th July

09:00 AM

Round 1

21st  July

02:00 PM

Round 8

26th July

09:00 AM

Round 2

22nd July

09:00 AM

Round 9

27th July

09:00 AM

Round 3

22nd July

03:30 PM

Round 10

28th July

09:00 AM

Round 4

23rd  July

09:00 AM

Round 11

29th July

09:00 AM

Round 5

24th July

09:00 AM

Prize Distribution

29th July

04:00 PM

About the author

C.K.Muralidharan is a 55-year-old Free-lance Sports Journalist based in Mysore. He has 20 years of experience in sports journalism. He contributes to the Hindu National daily and Daily Star of Mysore on all sports in Mysore for the last 15 years. He has been covering sports in Mysore on his website - He is the promoter of Mysore Professional Chess Academy. IM M.S.Thejkumar is the Vice-President of the Academy and supervises the coaching programme. He works with the Mysore District Chess Association in order to spread the game of chess through the chess in schools program.