India no.3 IM Vaishali R started the final day with a 7/9 score. She finished it with 13.5/18 to become the first-ever Tata Steel Chess India 2022 Women Blitz champion. She showed resiliency in her pursuit for the top prize. Despite losing to GM Anna Muzychuk for the second time in this event in Round 13, she managed to keep her composure and continue her path towards glory. After winning a double Bronze (Team and Individual) at the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022, this is certainly a huge achievement for her. Earlier in May, she scored her second GM-norm. Apart from this victory opening many more opportunities for her, she is also on her way to become a GM. Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) secured second place 12/18, followed by Harika Dronavalli 11/18 at third. Harika became the sole woman to make a podium finish in both Rapid and Blitz events. Photo: Lennart Ootes
Resilience always pays off
"Thank you very much. Firstly thanks to our parents for their support. I think without them, it's just impossible. Thanks to my sponsors, RAMCO Cements. They have been a big support. Thanks to Ramesh sir. He has also been the biggest supporter in my and my brother's career. Thanks to Anand sir, we are both a part of Westbridge Anand Chess Academy. We have been learning a lot from Sir and all the trainers. An excellent support system is there." - IM Vaishali R on winning Tata Steel Chess India 2022 Women Blitz. She also added, "It was not easy at all. I was lucky in many of my games." Vaishali also got an opportunity to play in the 85th edition of Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023 in the Challengers section.
Tata Steel Chess India 2022 Women Blitz winner - IM Vaishali R | Photo: Lennart Ootes
Tata Steel Chess India 2022 Women Rapid winner - GM Anna Ushenina (UKR) | Photo: Lennart Ootes
"First of all, I would say, very big thanks to organizers, sponsors, for organizing this event, also chess fans, chess players who came to watch and support us in our match. As Tania mentioned, India is becoming a lucky country for me, it's a great country, beautiful hospitality, I like culture, everything. Thank you very much." - GM Anna Ushenina (UKR), winner of Tata Steel Chess India 2022 Women Rapid. "Well, of course it was very nervous and Nana is a very very great player. We played a lot. I was just lucky and everything went well." - Ushenina on her tie-break games against GM Nana Dzagnidze (GEO).
The Tata Steel Chess India 2022 champions - GM Nihal Sarin (Rapid Open), GM Arjun Erigaisi (Blitz Open), GM Anna Ushenina (UKR, Rapid Women) and IM Vaishali R (Blitz Women) | Photo: Amruta Mokal
Tata Steel Chess India 2022 Women Blitz Top 3 (L to R) - 1st IM Vaishali R, 2nd GM Mariya Muzychuk and 3rd GM Harika Dronavalli | Photo: Lennart Ootes
Tata Steel Chess India 2022 Women Blitz participants donned a chess themed saree | Photo: Lennart Ootes