PANAJI: Goa Carbon Goodwill Ambassador and Woman Grandmaster Bhakti Kulkarni achieved yet another milestone in her glowing career as she became Commonwealth woman chess champion by winning gold in the star studded event held at Glasgow, Scotland.
Goans made a rich haul by winning medals in the age group sections as well with Rishabh Naik (boys U-18), Riya Savant (girls U-14) and Nitish Belurkar (boys U-14) all winning silver in their respective categories.
“I am very proud of this gold medal because I had to come ahead of former Asian Woman Champion Tania Sachdev, former World Junior Champion Soumya Swaminathan and National Woman Champion Mary Ann Gomes” said the elated champion.
Bhakti is the first Goan to win Commonwealth Gold in women’s category though she had been Commonwealth junior girls’ champion in 2012. The Arts student from Margao thus sealed Goa’s place on international chess map.
Coach Raghunandan Gokhale expressed happiness over the performance of his students Bhakti and Nitish Belurkar, as the two helped the Indian contingent swell its medals tally in the championship.
“Nitish Belurkar was unlucky not to win gold even though he was tied with champion Abdulla Murad of Scotland,” Gokhale said adding that he was however happy that both of his students won medals for India.
Nitish is the student of Sharda Mandir HS, Miramar and had already won gold in World Under 9 School Championship in 2010.
Both Bhakti and Nitish have been invited to play in the Vaujany International Chess Tournament, France where the international tournament will begin on July 10.
Commonwealth Chess: Bhakti clinches gold; silver each for Nitish, Riya and Rishabh