With a penchant for attack, Kruttika Nadig showed her class with seven wins. The wiry girl drew two of her games including the last one against WGM Eesha Karavade in 20 moves. Kamesh Srinivasan reports.
The 20-year-old Kruttika Nadig, an Economics student from the Symbiosis College, Pune, sprang a surprise in the National ‘A’ women’s chess championship in New Delhi.
With a penchant for attack, Kruttika showed her class with seven wins. The wiry girl drew two of her games including the last one against WGM Eesha Karavade in 20 moves.
For her last round match, Kruttika arrived at the venue about 15 minutes late since she was caught up in a traffic jam on the way. She was unwilling to push her luck when her opponent repeated the moves in a complicated middle game.
“It wasn’t an agreed draw. It was a tight situation and I decided to take the draw. Then I waited and watched,” recalled Kruttika, who had won the National junior title in 2004 and the National sub-junior title in 2003.
In fact, Kruttika was so tense in the end that she just waited and did not want to watch Tania’s game against the Asian junior champion Mary Ann Gomes in the last round.
Kruttika had finished with eight points while Tania had seven before her final round. Tania needed a win to record a hat-trick of titles. In the event of Tania and Kruttika finishing level then Tania would have won the championship since she had beaten the Pune girl in the ninth round.
But in the end, Tania found Mary a tough nut to crack and lost out in a rook and pawn ending. She was at a disadvantage of being a pawn down.
“It was tough for me. Congratulations to Kruttika. She deserves this title. It is ok with me that I haven’t performed a hat-trick. I was not confident coming into this tournament after all the hectic travel,” said Tania, acknowledging the supremacy of Kruttika.
In fact, Kruttika and Tania played a spectacular game, till the Pune girl lost her way in trying to snatch a win from a drawn situation. She made a couple of mistakes towards the end and Tania capitalised on that to clinch a memorable win.
“I overstretched myself,” conceded Kruttika later, after walking out of the venue in a hurry, unable to overcome her disappointment.
Of her seven wins, Kruttika asserted herself with black pieces five times, to really establish herself as the dark horse.
“I am strong with white, but need to work on it better,” said Kruttika, as she thanked her coach T. Purushottaman who had helped her to prepare for the nationals.
The victory fetched Rs. one lakh for Kruttika, and she was doubly delighted to get her third and final WGM norm, which of course was on the expected lines.
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