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Champion Ivana does it again

Panaji: Goa’s Ivana Furtado regained the Asian Junior chess crown after emerging triumphant in Shiraz, Iran, on Wednesday.The 18-year-old Woman International Master (WIM) who had taken Indian chess by storm as a youngster tasted victory at the continental stage for a second time as she stayed unbeaten and finished ahead of her Indian teammate Meghna CH at the Asian Junior Girls Championship. Ivana, who won her first gold at the Asian event in 2013, finished with seven points – five wins and four draws – to finish half a point ahead of Meghna (6.5 points), while Bidhar Rutumbara’s six points meant all three podium finishes were gobbled by India.She defeated the likes of Hotami (Tajikistan), Mandar (Syria), Fatemeh, Anousha and Mobina (all Iran) and drew four games against Alijanzabeh (Iran), Meghna, Rupimbera and Harshita (all India).
Seeded second behind Woman Fide Master Alinasab Mobina of Iran, Ivana proved a cut above the rest for participants from five countries, all jostling for the under-20 title.Her triumph will bring her the third Women’s Grand Master norm. The 12th standard student of Our Lady of Rosary High School, Dona Paula, pocketed her first norm in 2013 and her stupendous performance against International Masters in Kolkata Open later earned her the second norm. However, the second norm is yet to be confirmed and verified by Fide.Ivana (2132 ELO points) will need to reach 2400 points to become the second Goan Women’s Grand Master after Bhakti Kulkarni. [TOI]

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