Nagpur’s Divya Deshmukh is World U-10 chess champion
Amit Sampat, TNN | Sep 30, 2014, 01.49 PM IST

NAGPUR: Nagpur’s 8 ½-year-old Divya Deshmukh won her first World crown when she emerged as champ in the under-10 girls’ section of the World Youth Chess Championship in Durban, South Africa, on Monday. The No. 13 seed put up a consistent show to earn 9 wins and 2 draws and finish the 11-round-even with 10 points.

Divya had earlier shot into the limelight when she won the Asian Schools Championship (rapid and standard) in 2012 and the U-10 Asian blitz event earlier this year. In 2013, Divya became the world’s youngest woman Fide Master.

In her only reaction to TOI via her mother, the Bhavan’s student, said, “I am very happy to win my first World championship gold medal for India.”

Daughter of gynaecologists Namrata and Jitendra Deshmukh, Divya’s first call after the triumph was to her elder sister Arya. Delighted with Divya’s triumph, Namrata said, “Divya is feeling great, it’s yet to sink in.”

The credit for Divya’s triumph goes to city’s Gurpreet Singh Maras, her second coach after Rahul Joshi. Though Gurpreet was unable to accompany Divya to Durban, he explained everything online to her.

“Her 5th round tie against top seed Assaubayeva Bibissara of Kazakhstan was the toughest. Playing with black bits, Divya held her higher ranked rival to a 46-move draw. After studying Bibissara’s previous games, I suggested some moves to Divya. On Bibissara’s Queens Pawn opening Divya played the Kings Indian defence and got a pawn up in the 22nd move but Bibissara managed well thereafter.”

The last round game against seed No. 9 Nurgali Nazerke was also tough but “Divya played it safe to emerge victorious”, added Maras. The game lasted 67 moves.

Divya and Bibissara tied with 10 points each but a better progressive tie-break score gave the Indian the title.

Divya, who has Elo rating of 1607 points, opened with a win over China’s Jiang Tiantian and then posted victories over Koksa Jelena, No 4 seed Zeng Sheena of USA and No. 5 seed WFM Asadi Motahare from Iran.

In the next rounds, Divya outclassed Rakshitta Ravi, No 7 seed Garifullina Leya of Russia, WCM Caglar Sila, Song Yuxin and No 12 seed Chinese Wen Yili. The final game against Kazakhstan’s Nurgali Nazerke lasted 67 moves.

Secretary of All India Chess Federation (AICF) V Hariharan praised Divya’s efforts. “She is improving every year,” he said.

Another Indian player too won a title with Kerala’s Nihal Sarin triumphing in the U-10 boys category. Overall in 12 categories, India also brought home 2 silvers and bronzes each.

Delhi’s GM Vaibhav Suri in U-18 and Chennai’s IM Aravindh Chithambaram in U-16 got silvers. The bronze medal winners include Mendonca Leon Luke in U-8 and WFM Vaishali Ramesh Babu in the U-14 girls’ section.


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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