Hailing from Aurangabag, the 15 year old Tejaswini Sagar, faced an anxious start in the last round of the Under-15 World School Chess Championship, requiring the win in order to claim the championship as her own. Bogged down by an early defeat by a fellow citizen, Isha Sharma, wherein she fell prey to an opening trap, Tejaswini took it in her stride and pushed through the other rounds. Tejaswini scored seven points out of a possible nine, having won six, drawn two and lost one game.
In her last round, she faced the young Sri Lankan chess player, Kavinya Miyuni Rajapaksa. According to the Times of India, Tejaswini played a fierce game with an advance strike made on the main lines of Rajapaksa. Taking advantage of her opponent’s frail preparation, Tejaswini was able to wrap up the game in under two hours owing to a blocked queen of Rajapaksa. Her win was facilitated when the overnight leader Irina Barbayeva of Russia lost in her final battle against Alisa Kozybayeva of Kazakhstan.
She was quoted saying, “I think I made it very difficult for myself after losing to Isha but luckily I did not give up hope. In the end, the last round result on top board was in my favour, even if that had ended in a draw.”
Two other chess players made the country proud, with Anand Nadar earning the silver medal in under-15 open category and Saloni Sapole also winning her silver title in the under-17 girls’ section.