Top seed WGM Soumya Swaminathan (PSPB), Tamil Nadu’s WFM C. Lakshmi and fifth seed WGM Bhakti Kulkarni (Air India) share the lead scoring 6.5 points from eight rounds at the end of day 6 in the 44th National Women’s Challenger Chess Championship 2017, conducted by the Mysore Chess Centre at Sri Kanteerava Narasimharaja Sports Club here yesterday.
Five players, WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty (LIC), WGM Mary Ann Gomes (PSPB), WIM P.V. Nandhidhaa (AAI), WGM Meenakshi Subbaraman (AI) and WFM Arpita Mukharjee (WB) are tied with 6 points and are placed from fourth to eighth in the rankings. 15 players are tied with 5.5 points each.
Top-seed WGM Soumya Swaminathan playing with white pieces on the top board was involved in an interesting tussle for supremacy against WFM C. Lakshmi of Tamil Nadu. Lakshmi held on to a fighting draw in 67 moves and split points in the eighth round to share the lead jointly with 6.5 points.
In the second board, tenth seed WGM Meenakshi Subbaraman (AAI- 6 points) held second seed WGM Mary Ann Gomes (PSPB- 6 points) to a draw in 31 moves.
Fifth seed WGM Bhakti Kulkarni (Air India- 6.5 points), playing with white pieces on the third board, continued her winning streak after her first round loss with another well earned win over fourth seed IM Nisha Mohota (PSPB-5.5 points), who faltered with her ending game in 51 moves to go into the joint lead with WGM S. Soumya and C. Lakshmi.
Commonwealth Champion and third seed WGM Swati Ghate (LIC- 5.5 points) was held to a draw by WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty (LIC) on the fourth board in 27 moves. Seventh seed WIM Nandhidhaa (AAI-6 points) playing with white pieces on the fifth board beat WFM G. Lasya (AP-5 points) in 34 moves. Lowly rated G. Sandhya (1873) of Andhra Pradesh shocked WIM P. Michelle Catherina (TN-4.5 points) in 57 moves in the tenth board.
Important Results: Round 8: Soumya Swaminathan (6.5) drew with C. Lakshmi (6.5), Meenakshi Subbaraman (6) drew with Mary Ann Gomes (6), Bhakti Kulkarni (6.5) bt Nisha Mohota (5.5), Swati Ghate (5.5) drew with Kiran Manisha Mohanty (6), Nandhidhaa (6) bt G.Lasya (5), Arpita Mukherjee (6) bt Srija Seshadri (5), Harshitha G (5.5) drew with Arathie Ramaswamy (5.5), M. Mahalakshmi (5.5) drew with P. Bala Kannamma (5.5), Pranali S. Dharia (5.5) drew with L. Jyotsna (5.5), Sandhya (5.5) bt Michelle Catherina P (4.5), Priyanka Kumari (5) drew with A. G. Nimmy (5), Meenu Rajendran (4.5) lost to Chitlange Sakshi (5.5), K. Priyanka K (4.5) lost to Shetye Siddhali (5.5), K. Sai Nirupama (4.5) lost to Sanskriti Goyal (5.5), Makhija Aashana (5.5) bt Andria L D’souza (4.5).