KOLKATA: Asian Continental Chess Championship for Women is proving to be a happy hunting ground for Mary Ann Gomes. After winning the silver medal last year, the Women Grandmaster (WGM) claimed a bronze medal in this year’s competition that concluded in Philippines on Sunday.
In spite of finishing a shade below her last year’s show, Gomes is quite satisfied with her performance. “I feel the competition this year was much tougher than last year’s. We had some 10 Chinese players who were all very good and no single player ever enjoyed a sole lead anytime during the meet,” she told TOI on Wednesday, a day after returning home.
The fact that in spite of not losing any match, seventh seeded Gomes ended third with 6.5 points, showed how tough the nine-round competition really was.
However, Gomes earned 23 rating points from this meet and thus crossed the 2400 Elo points barrier. Her Fide rating is now 2410. With four ‘male’ International Masters norms already in her kitty, Gomes will become IM (male) title holder from June this year.
However, her next target will be to win the GM norm. “It is still a far away off, but I think I am on the right track,” Gomes, who won a bronze at World Team Chess championship last month, said.
To achieve her goal she is practising hard and specially working on her openings. “I think openings are my weak link and I need to rectify that fast,” she said. “Chess is evolving so fast these days that there’s no time to relax. You need to continuously work on your game,” she remarked.
Gomes will be playing in a GMs meet in Bulgaria early next month and then the Commonwealth Chess meet in South Africa later this year.