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Chess

Divya Deshmukh beats India number 1, Chinese world champion on way to win rapid title

17-year-old IM Divya Deshmukh has won the Tata Steel Chess India Women's rapid event from among a field including India No 1 Koneru Humpy and current Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun of China.

Divya Deshmukh beats India number 1, Chinese world champion on way to win rapid title
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By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 3 Sep 2023 6:53 AM GMT

17-year-old Divya Deshmukh continued the series of unlikely events in Indian chess by winning the Tata Steel Chess India Women's rapid event over India No 1 Koneru Humpy and current Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun of China.

The Nagpur-based International Master was not even supposed to play the tournament. She was a last-minute replacement after R Vaishali was ruled out. She started out as the lowest rated player in a star-studded field.

Deshmukh was in the joint lead alongside fellow Indian IM Vantika Agarwal at the end of the first three rounds on Thursday. On Friday, she moved into the sole lead with five wins and a draw in six rounds, drawing away from top seed Ju Wenjun.

On the final day of action on Saturday, Deshmukh beat India No 1 Koneru Humpy with black in the final round to finish on seven points, half a point more than Ju. Deshmukh had scored 7 points in 9 rounds. The Chinese world champion Ju Wenjun finished second on 6.5 points.

The 17-year-old Divya Deshmukh has already won national titles and a gold in the Asian Continental Women's tournament earlier this year, but this is the most impressive win of her career yet.

The Women's Blitz begins on September 3

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