Ashritha Eswaran continues to win

by Dejan Bojkov
7/24/2015 – Coach Dejan Bojkov and his student Ashritha Eswaran had a hectic schedule in June and July. First Ashritha played the US Championship for Girls U20 and then they flew to Colombia to play in the Pan Americanships Girls U18. After that the Pan American Championships G20 followed in El Salvador. But there still was time to visit the past.

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Ashritha Eswaran wins Pan American Championships G20 in El Salvador

During the Pan American Championships last year in Paraguay we met a lot of nice people and one of them invited us to come to the next edition in El Salvador. Alvaro tempted us with a lot of things. I am sure Ashritha liked the idea of a WIM title and WGM norm. I, on the other had was thinking about the amazing seafood and the coffee in El Salvador...

Jokes aside, on 13. July we flew to El Salvador, where the capital city San Salvador was hosting the Pan American championships for boys and girls U20. The tournament began on 16. July and thus we had some time to fill holes in Ashritha’s opening repertoire and to do a little bit of tourism.

The archeological site Joya de Cerén (also known as Pompeii de Americas) was first on our list. Centuries ago a volcano buried this ancient Maya village in ashes, thus preserving it for centuries to come. It is the only place in the world where organic materials had been preserved for centuries.

Joya de Cerén

The site was discovered by chance in 1976 when a bulldozer bumped into it. Excavation started soon after. A painful civil war interrupted the archeological work which was taken up again in 1988. In 1993 Joya de Ceren was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is unique because the village was inhabited by ordinary people, not the elite member of the Mayas. So far about seventy buildings have been uncovered, including storehouses, kitchens and communal sauna.

A view...

... into...

... the past.

Did you ever wonder why corn was the holy plant for the Mayas? Well, they were making alcohol out of it and felt alcohol brought them closer to the Gods. 

On the way back from Joya de Ceren we visited the archeological site of San Andres and saw the pyramids, the indigo trees, and the lava fields.

El Salvador is full of beautiful plants.

The free days passed quickly and on 16. July the tournament began. 24 girls from eleven countries took part in the girls event and almost twice that much competed in the boys section.

The playing hall

After the successful US-Championship at the end of June Ashritha started the event as rating favorite. I was a bit worried about her new status as I feel it is psychologically easier not having to defend the top spot.

The tournament, however, turned out to be quite a success. After winning in round one, Ashritha played badly in game two, but survived. She then won four games in a row and emerged as clear leader.

Practically, she could have secured victory two rounds before the end of the tournament had she not blown her enormous advantage against Danitza Maccarini Vazquez in round seven. But Ashritha got infected by her opponent’s time trouble, played too fast and spoiled her position. But in the last two rounds Ashritha scored 1.5/2 and still won the title.

Ashritha and Danitza

Danitza Maccarini Vazquez

Danitza Maccarini Vazquez made 7.0/9 and deservedly won silver. The bronze medal went to Miriam Parkhurst from Mexico.

The winners

Final Standings

Rk.     Name FED Rtg Pts.
  Eswaran Ashritha USA 2095 7.5
WIM Vazquez Maccarini Danitza PUR 1948 7.0
WFM Parkhurst Casas Miriam MEX 1869 6.0
  Librelato Kathie Goulart BRA 1842 6.0
WFM Gutierrez Espinosa Karen CUB 2078 5.5
WIM Granados Diaz Maria Esther NCA 1838 5.5
  Herrera Marjorie ESA 1555 5.5
WIM Jorquera Cabello Valentina CHI 2005 5.0
WCM Garcia Alcira ESA 1725 5.0
WCM De Leon Stephanie ESA 1654 5.0
WCM Ortez Andrea ESA 1671 5.0
  Cosme Contreras Trilce PER 1755 4.5
  Ramirez Gonzalez Maria Jose CRC 1736 4.5
  Castro Venus Sabrina ESA 1556 4.5
  Cruz Lima Kimberly Esmeralda GUA 1718 4.0
  Guardado Flores Diana Beatriz ESA 1683 4.0
  Natareno Elvia GUA 1675 4.0
  Palacios Celina ESA 1617 4.0
  Santos Judith ESA 1550 4.0
  Villalobos Alejandra ESA 1622 3.5
  Garcia Angie ESA 0 3.0
  Canas Belen Alexandra ESA 0 2.0
  Palencia Berenice ESA 0 2.0
  Martinez Hazel Rebeca ESA 0 1.0


In the boys' section two young gentlemen dominated the field but in the end Kevin Cori Quispe had a better tie-break than Andrew Tang of the USA and won gold for Peru. Thanks to Brian Sebas Escalante the bronze medal also went to Peru.

 Finals standings

Rk.   Name FED Rtg Pts.
1   Cori Quispe Kevin PER 2369 7.5
2 IM Tang Andrew USA 2365 7.5
3   Escalante Ramirez Brian Sebas PER 2389 6.5
4   Solano Cuya Bryan CRC 2149 6.5
5 FM Arias Daniel ESA 2242 6.0
6 FM Lopez Gonzalez Abel Fabian CUB 2251 5.5
7   Chavez Estevez Hayler David CUB 2347 5.5
8   Benedetti Julio ARG 2313 5.5
9   Puppi Lazo Jorge Luis PER 2111 5.5
10 IM Hernandez Sanchez Jairo Andre COL 2381 5.5
11   Carrera Gonzalez Enmanuel CUB 2171 5.5
12 FM Ampie Mauro NCA 2193 5.5
13 IM Singh Vishnu TTO 2200 5.5
14   Santiago Vilca Christian PER 1922 5.5
15 CM Giron Jorge Ernesto ESA 2223 5.5
16 FM Jimenez Garcia Emmanuel CRC 2210 5.0
17   Squella Lavin Carlos Felipe CHI 2183 5.0
    Lopez Raygoza Luis Albert MEX 2138 5.0
19   Colorado Efrain ESA 1841 5.0
20 FM Husbands Orlando BAR 2234 5.0
21   Mendez Alan Steven ESA 1744 5.0
22   Ulloa Ruben Guillermo PAN 2016 5.0
23 FM Johnson Joshua TTO 2211 4.5
24   Hernandez Mauricio Daniel ESA 1926 4.5
25   Ruballo Jose ESA 1662 4.5

...46 participants


Ashritha’s last three tournaments were a real success for us. She first won the USA G20 title, then shared 1. place at the Pan Am G18 in Colombia, and now became clear first at the Pan Am in El Salvador becoming a WIM and making a WGM norm on the way.

After these tournaments Ashritha's FIDE rating is close to the 2200 mark and we do not intend to stop. But we know we need to work harder if we want to succeed.

Last, but not least: the coffee was indeed fantastic, and the sea-food...I am not sure if there is an appropriate word to describe it.

Official tournament page

Dejan Bojkov, born in 1977, is a Bulgarian GM who qualified from the Sports Academy of Sofia as a trainer, a profession which he has followed in various countries. After his work as a trainer in Kavala (Greece) he trained ex World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova. Bojkov regularly reports for and In 2009 Bojkov was champion of Bulgaria and member of the Bulgarian team at the European championships. Bojkov is the authorof a number of popular ChessBase DVDs and in cooperation with Vladimir Georgiev wrote the book "A Course in Chess Tactics" (Gambit 2010).


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