Mary Ann pockets national chess title

Chennai: Woman Grandmaster Mary Ann Gomes of the Airports Authority of India, Kolkata, emerged champion in the Velammal 38th women’s National Premier chess championship here on Wednesday as she drew her final round game against WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty of Orissa to take her tally to 8.0 points. International Master Eesha Karavade of Maharashtra matched Mary Ann at 8.0 points, with a last gasp victory over WGM Padmini Rout of Orissa, but superior tie-break gave Mary Ann her maiden Premier title along with a winner’s purse of Rs 75,000. Upon winning the title, Mary said: “Of course, I feel amazing winning my first championship. It is a completely different experience. I guess, when I think of it, I feel great joy. I dedicate this title to my mother Freda Gomes.” Eesha scored a surprisingly quick final round victory against Padmini. The Grunfeld game saw white wresting the advantage early and a rook for minor piece sacrifice by Padmini did not improve her position. Further intrusions into black’s kingside by Eesha’s queen and double rooks decided the issue in 32 moves. This third seed from Pune came up with a remarkable show in the second half to finish runner-up ahead of top seed Tania Sachdev. (IANS)

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