Bhakti Kulkarni retains national chess title

Defending champion Bhakti Kulkarni of Air India completed a dominant performance to finish with 10 points from 11 rounds to retain the title.

Bhakti Kulkarni finished with 10 points from 11 rounds to retain her title.   -  Special Arrangement

Defending champion Bhakti Kulkarni of Air India completed a dominant performance to finish with 10 points from 11 rounds to retain her title in the 46th National Women Chess Championship which concluded here on Saturday.

She was held to a draw in the final round by Pratyusha Bodda of Andhra Pradesh, a Woman International Master.

The Andhra player had her chances early in the game but she let the advantage slip away. Bhakti also failed to convert the chances that came her way and signed the peace treaty after sixty-two moves.

Read: Prithu Gupta becomes India's 64th Grandmaster

The WGM took home Rs four lakh as prize money for winning the title.

With eight and half points in the kitty, Vantika Agrawal of Delhi finished first runner-up after splitting the point with Mrudul Dehankar of Mahrashtra in the final round.

Talented young Divya Deshmukh of Maharashtra, the third seed, caught up with Vantika on points after beating P.V. Nandhidhaa of Tamil Nadu but had to be content with second runner-up position on tie-break score.

Vantika received Rs 3 lakh prize money while Divya pocketed Rs 2 lakh.

Results: Round 11: Bhakti Kulkarni (Air India) (10) drew with Pratyusha Bodda (Andhra Pradesh) (8); Mrudul Dehankar (Maharashtra) (8) drew Vantika Agrawal (8.5); P V Nandhidhaa (TN) (7.5) lost to Divya Deshmukh (Maharashtra) (8.5); Aarthie Ramaswamy (Air India) (7) lost to Srija Seshadri (TN) (8).

Nisha Mohota (PSPB) (8) beat K Priyanka (TN) (7); Harshita Guddnati (Andhra Pradesh) (7.5) beat P Bala Kannamma (TN) (7); Mary Ann Gomes (PSPB) (7) drew with V Varshini (TN) (7); S Meenakshi (Air India) (7.5) beat Michelle Catherina (TN) (6.5); Sakshi Chitlange (Maharashtra) (7.5) beat L Jyothsna (TN) (6.5); Rutuja Bakshi (Maharashtra) (6.5) drew with Soumya Swaminathan (PSPB) (6.5).

V Toshali (Andhra Pradesh) (6) lost to S Vijayalakshmi (Air India) (7); Sanskriti Goyal (UP) (6) lost to Swati Ghate (LIC) (7); Isha Sharma (Karnataka) (7) beat Srishti Pandey (Maharashtra) (6).

Final placings: 1. Bhakti Kulkarni 10 pts, 2. Vantika Agrawal 8.5 pts, 3. Divya Deshmukh 8.5 pts, 4. Pratyusha Bodda 8 pts, 5. Mrudul Dehankar 8 pts, 6. Srija Seshadri 8 pts, 7. Nisha Mohota 8 pts, 8. P V Nandhidhaa 7.5 pts, 9. S Meenakshi 7.5 pts, 10. Harshita Guddanti 7.5 pts.