Woman Grandmaster Mary Ann Gomes won her maiden national title after drawing her final round game against WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty, in the Velammal 38th National Women's Premier Chess Championship, which concluded in Chennai on Wednesday.
Gomes's superior tie-break gave her the title and the winner's purse of Rs 75,000, the final round draw swelling her tally to eight points. She was tied with International Master Eesha Karavade of Maharashtra on eight points after the latter scored a last-gasp victory over Woman Grandmaster Padmini Rout of Orissa.
"I feel amazing winning my first National Women's Premier 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," said Gomaes.
International Master Eesha Karavade scored a surprisingly quick final round victory over Woman Grandmaster Padmini Rout.
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.
The win took Eesha on top of the table with eight points. This third seed from Pune, came up with a remarkable show in the second half, taking the runners-up spot ahead of top seed Tania Sachdev.
With the fight for the top two spots decided, the experienced Sachdev secured third place with an energetic victory over Woman International Master Sai Meera.
A miracle draw on Tuesday against Divyasree and a facile win on Wednesday, took Tania to the third place finish in the final standings.
The top six players are seeded for the next National Women's Premier championship and earn the right to represent the country in international events for a year.
The newcomer in this group is Pratyusha Bodda of Andhra Pradesh. As the lone untitled player in the top six, her performance in Chennai was outstanding.
Seeded 21st, Pratyusha beat WGMs Sowmya Swaminathan, Swathi Ghate and WIM Bhakti Kulkarni on way to her sixth place finish.
Final standings: 1-2 Mary Ann Gomes (AAI), Eesha Karavade (Mah) 8.0, 3 Tania Sachdev (AI) 7.5, 4-5 Nisha Mohota (PSPB), Padmini Rout (Ori) 7.0, 6-10 Pratyusha Bodda (AP), Meenakshi Subbaraman (IA), Sowmya Swaminathan (PSPB), Kiran Manisha Mohanty (Ori), P Michelle Catherina (TN) 6.5.
Results (Final-Round 11): Mary Ann Gomes (AAI) 8 drew with Kiran Manisha Mohanty (Ori) 6.5, Eesha Karavade (Mah) 8.0 bt Padmini Rout (Ori) 7.0, Tania Sachdev (AI) 7.5 bt Sai Meera (IB) 6.0, Nisha Mohota (PSPB) 7.0 bt Chandika Divyasree (AP) 6.0, Sowmya Swaminathan (PSPB) 6.5 bt A G Nimmy (Ker) 5.5, Meenakshi Subbaraman (AI) 6.5 bt R Bharathi (TN) 5.5, P Michelle Catherina (TN) 6.5 bt Bhakti Kulkarni (Goa) 5.5, Pratyusha Bodda (AP) 6.5 bt S Harini (TN) 5.0, Swathi Ghate (LIC) 6.0 bt Cholleti Sahajasri (AP) 4.5, Swati Mohota (WB) 5.0 drew with Pon N Krithika (AICF) 5.5, A Akshaya (TN) 5.0 drew with P Bala Kannamma (TN) 5.0, Aarthie Ramaswamy (AI) 5.0 drew with P V Nandhidhaa (TN) 4.5, Madhurima Shekhar (Del) 2.5 lost to J Saranya (TN) 5.5, Shweta Gole (Mah) 5.0 bt Supriya Joshi (Mah) 2.0, M Mahalakshmi (TN) 4.0.