Cmilyte enjoys unusual year with newly-crowned European chess title

09:00, May 19, 2011      

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The year 2011 must be somewhat unusual for Viktorija Cmilyte, in which she has won the European Individual Women Chess Championship on Wednesday since 2003 and got three silver medals for finishing runner-up at the continental level in 2003, 2008 and last year.

But it was this year when the worldwide 15th-ranked Lithuanian has finally added the elusive European championship title to her collection of competitive trophies, especially from major competitions.

"Happy. I feel very happy," said the 28-year-old mother of two, who has every right to feel that way, because the continental title had shunned her for so long and for so many times when she had come so close to getting it.

"I missed three (European) championship tournaments," added the newly-crowned champion. "But I took part in all the others up till today."

Born in 1983 at Lithuania's fourth largest city of Siauliai, Cmilyte started playing chess at the age of six, tutored by her own father who remained her coach during her formative years.

She soon made her presence in the chessdom felt when she won the European Youth Champion for Girls (under the age of 10), the World Youth Champion for Girls (under 12), two national championship (including one which she had to brush aside four male contenders to win), the Corus Reserve Group tournament, two Chess Olympiad gold medals, and the World Women Rapidplay Champion.

Apart from playing chess, the tall Lithuanian also plays basketball and volleyball to make the most of her born height.

Thanks to her mental strength, swiftness and stamina, Cmilyte has, between 1996 and this year, posted a winning rate of almost 62 percent off the more than 380 competitive games she has entered.

In May this year, FIDE, the world governing body of the sport of chess, has ranked Cmilyte a worldwide 15th, behind the Russian sisters Nadezhda and Tatiana Kosintseva (4th and 5th respectively), Nana Dzagnidze of 2011 European championship hosts Georgia (6th), Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia (8th), Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine (9th), Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia (10th), Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria (13th) and Elina Danielian of Armenia (14th).

At the Tbilisi championship, ninth-seeded Cmilyte met and beat top seed Nadezhda Kosintseva and seventh-seeded Elina Danielian but lost to eighth seed Antoaneta Stefanova. But en route to winning the final championship title, the Lithuanian played and defeated twice and defending continental champion Pia Cramling from Sweden, seeded 12th in Tbilisi.

"The most difficult game in Tbilisi I have played was the draw with Bela Khotenashvili (from hosts Georgia)," remembered the Lithuanian who described the eighth-round draw as very challenging.

Source: Xinhua
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