Pune, Oct 29 (UNI) Pune will host the 34th Women's National 'A' chess championship under the auspices of the Symbiosis SPA Chess School and in association with Buddhibal Krida Trust from November 5 to 15.
Symbiosis president S B Mujumdar and joint director Vidya Yerwadekar, addressing a joint press conference here today, said the meet holds added importance as it will serve to select three to four players to join K Humpy in the Indian team for the Chess Olympiad slated to be held at Dresden in Germany in October 2008.
A total of top 34 players will be vying for honours for a total prize money of Rs 2.50 lakh which is at stake. The winner's share will be Rs 75,000 while the runners-up will take home Rs 50,000 along with specially-crafted trophies, Mujumdar said.
Bank of Maharashtra is the main sponsor for the event, contributing Rs five lakh out of the total expenditure of Rs 13 lakh.
The battle for supremacy is expected to be between the top seeded D Harika and multiple national champion and Olympiad silver medalist S Vijayalakshmi and defending champion Tania Sachdeva. Padmini Raut will be the dark horse.
The Pune challenge will be spearheaded by former national champion Swati Ghate and Women Grand Master Isha Karaode. The second string of the city -- Amruta Mokal, Soumya Swaminathan and Kruttika Nadig are also in the fray. Nisha Mohota, S Meenakshi, and R Arthi will also be seen in action.
M D Bhagwat will be the chief arbiter while Mr Niyin Shenavi and Mr Rajendra Sidare are the arbiters for the meet.
Pune mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale will formally inaugurate the prestigious championship while Bank of Maharashtra chairman and managing director M D Mallya GM Abhijit Kunte will be the guests of honour on the occasion. All India Chess Federation secretary D V Sunder and Pune divisional commissioner Dr Nitin Kareer will also grace the occasion. Veteran chess organiser Bhausaheb Padsalgikar will be the guest of honour at the final prize distribution function to be held on November 15.