Eighteen-year-old San Jose resident and UC Berkeley student Ashritha Eswaran tied for fifth place at the 2019 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship.
The U.S. Women’s Chess Championship is a prestigious national event where 12 of the top female chess players compete. It ran from March 18 – April 1. The tournament was held in the round robin style and was held in St. Louis, MO–the chess capital of America. It is an invitation-only tournament, and this was the third time that Ashritha was invited to participate in this prestigious competition. She was first invited to attend this national-level tournament in 2014 – that year, she won the award for the best game of the tournament. Subsequently, she also attended the same tournament in 2016.
Despite Ashritha’s slow beginning in the tournament, she managed to finish strong and ended up tying for fifth place overall. She won 4 games and drew 2 games during the tournament. The tournament was intense and needless to say highly competitive, lasting for more than two weeks. The closing ceremony was on April 1 where Hikaru Nakamura was crowned as the men’s champion whhile Jennifer Yu won the women’s championship.
Ashritha is currently a freshman at UC Berkeley. She started playing chess at the age of 7. She became a national master by the age of 13, and now she has the title of Women’s International Master (WIM). She won the gold medal at the 2015 Pan-American Junior Championship in El Salvador and she also won the 2015 US Junior Girls Championship held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.