Cadet Chess: Divya Deshmukh brings home a goldSeptember 1, 2017
NAGPUR: City’s wonder girl Divya Deshmukh did the country proud by winning the only medal in the World Cadet Chess championship which concluded in Pocos de Caldas, Brazil, on Thursday.
Maintaining her unbeaten run in the 11-day championship, city’s youngest Women Fide Master (WFM) Divya collected 9.5 points to bring home the gold medal in the U-12 girls’ category. Starting as a third seed, the 1993 Elo rated Nagpur master won eight games and drew three rounds for the triumph.
While the BVM, Civil Lines, student emerged as the Numero Uno, all the other 19 members of the Indian contingent, participating in three age categories of six events failed to win a single medal for the country.
The 11-year and seven month old Divya, who was required to win her final round game against top seeded Rakshitta Ravi, got success in forcing her higher rated compatriot to sign the peace treaty. While Divya shared the points with Rakshitta on the top table, the following board saw a heartbreak defeat for Matus Nastassja of the US against .
The Sicilian defense game on the top board between Divya and Rakshitta saw the top seed opting for with Fienchtto variation. The game that remained equal for most part saw both the Indian masters signing the peace treaty in a mere 25 moves.
Secretary of All India Chess Federation (AICF) Bharat Singh Chauhan too was happy with Divya’s performance. “Divya gave a very wonderful performance in Brazil. It is very good that Divya is doing really well not only in this World meet but she has been giving consistent performance since last some years. She has got a very bright future. I have expected more medals from the Indian contingent,” Chauhan told TOI.
He added, “At the AICF our focus is on the youth as they are our future and we always look to provide as much support to the youngsters as we can. I am very much thankful to the Government for funding the trip of this 20-member Indian contingent.”
Earlier in the 10th and penultimate round, Divya utilized her opening advantage with the white pieces well to get the better of Uzbekistan’s Maftuna Bobomurodova in 38 moves and assured herself of a silver medal.
On Divya’s Kings Pawn opening, Maftuna opted for the Petroff defence while the game turned into Centre counter with a Frence defence like set-up in a very short period. Divya committed a silly error in the initial stage to become a pawn down but after sacrificing her Knight – which Maftuna accepted – the city master dominated her opponent with an attacking combination of queen, rook and bishop.
Of the 20 participating players representing the country in the six events, Divya was the only one to clinch a medal.
The three other contenders Sahithi Varshini M (U-10 girls), Bharath Subramaniyam (U-10 open) and Ilamparthi AR (U-8 open) missed the podium finish by a whisker. While Sahithi and Bharath fell short on their progressive scores, Ilamparthi missed the medal by half-point
Divya is a daughter of gynaecologists Namrata and Jitendra Deshmukh. She is now being trained by Chennai-based Grandmaster RB Ramesh and gives the credit of her success to school authorities including principal Anju Bhutani and parents.