Lithuanian closes her grip on European women chess championship title

14:24, May 17, 2011      

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Three-time European runner-up Viktorija Cmilyte on Monday moved a step closer toward the highest of the medal podium at the 2011 European Individual Women Chess Championship by winning one more of her games.

The ninth-seeded Lithuanian beat twice and defending champion from Sweden, Pia Cramling, to claim the full point for 7.5 points out of nine games so far.

On Tuesday Cmilyte plays black with Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, a Georgian who is now playing for her husband's federation of Scotland. A tie would secure the Lithuanian another silver medal while a win would almost guarantee her a gold medal for the first time in her appearances at the annual event.

Cmilyte took the silver medal at the European Individual Women Chess Championship in 2003, 2008 and last year.

After Monday's games, other gold medal hopefuls in Tbilisi included twice European titlist Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine (in 2005 and 2008), 2002 European champion Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria and Ketevan who each has seven points from nine games.

Championship hosts Georgia can now pin its medal hopes only on 11th-seeded Bela Khotenashvili who shared the third medal-chasing echelon along with Armenia's Elina Danielian and the Russian sisters Nadezhda and Tatiana Kosintseva, all with 6.5 points from nine games, or rather a full point behind the sole leader Cmilyte.

A total of 130 players from 26 European nations and federations have been competing in the ongoing European championship which started on May 7 in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi. The annual event first inaugurated in 2000 in Batumi, another city in Georgia.

Source: Xinhua
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