Yet another victory for a member of the Young Stars program, sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation. This time it was Ashritha Eswaran’s turn to shine, as she won the U.S. Junior Girls Invitational in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with an outstanding score of 6.5/9.
Ahsritha Eswaran hard at work in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo by Ruth Haring.
The tournament brought together some of the strongest female players in the nation under the age of 20. The ten-player Round Robin was quite strong, with an average rating of well over 2200; included among them were U.S. Women’s Championship participants Apurva Virkud, Annie Wang, Jennifer Yu and Sarah Chiang. The tournament was sponsored by Frank and Jim Berry.
The 10 players for this year’s Junior Girls Invitational. Ahsritha was the lowest ranked, but emerged with the win!
Despite being a tournament for players under 20, Ahsritha emerged victorious at the young age of 14! From San Jose, California, Ashritha is no stranger to top level competition. She has participated in several World Youth championships as well as the 2014 U.S. Women’s Championship.
Ashritha started with a loss in Tulsa, but she recovered tremendously. In the last four rounds she obtained 3.5/4 points, good enough to win the event by a full point over the competition. Maggie Feng played Ashritha in the last round, and a draw was good enough for Ashritha to clinch the tournament. Things started to look bad for her, but, according to her coach, GM Dejan Bojkov, she cleverly swindled her opponent and even took the full point for herself.
Ashritha with organizer Frank Berry receiving her 1st place prize
There is no time to rest for Ashritha, however, as she travels to Cali, Colombia straight from Tulsa. She will be representing the United States in the Panamerican Under 18 Girl’s Championship, again playing above her age group. We wish her the best of luck and we hope to be reporting on her success in Colombia soon. She is off to a good start with 2.0/2!
A final dinner for the players to unwind and say good bye to each other
The final standings of the tournament:
You can find more information at chess-results.com
All photos by Dejan Bojkov unless specified