Former Asian Champion and second seed Bhakti Kulkarni of Air India took sole lead with six and half points after seventh round matches of the ongoing 46th National Women Chess Championship 2019 sponsored by Chettinad Public School, Karaikudi.
Continuing her fine form in the championship, Bhakti outwitted top seed Soumya Swaminathan in the crucial seventh round battle. Playing with light colour pieces in a Grunfeld defense game, Bhakti got a pawn advantage on twenty third move and exerted pressure on open queenside of her top seed rival. Under time pressure towards first time control of 40 moves, Soumya crumbled and blundered on thirty ninth move to give minor piece advantage to Bhakti and resigned immediately.
On second board, overnight joint leader Vantika Agrawal of Delhi had advantage throughout the game with black pieces but failed to convert the same to decisive advantage against Pratyusha Bodda of Andhra Pradesh and split the points after long eighty seven moves arrived out of King’s Indian defence game. With six points in the kitty, Vantika now occupies the alone second spot.
In other important results on the day, the match between Women International Masters Michelle Catherina and Women International Masters Nandhidhaa PV both from Tamil Nadu ended in a peace treaty while Meenakshi Subbaraman of Air India defeated former champion Swati Ghate and moved to third spot in the point table with five and half points to give company to Michelle, Nandhidhaa and Pratyusha.
Earlier in the sixth round, Bhakti defeated third seed Divya Deshmukh while Vantika outsmarted six time national champion Vijayalakshmi of Air India.
In the eighth round, Nandhidhaa takes on Bhakti while Vantika paired against Michelle and Meenakshi will fight it out against Prayusha.
Round-7 :- WGM Bhakti Kulkarni of Air India (6.5) beat WGM Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB (5); WIM Pratyusha Bodda of Andhra Pradesh (5.5) drew with WIM Vantika Agrawalof Delhi (6); WIM Michelle Catherina of Tamilnadu (5.5) drew with WIM Nandhidhaa PV of Tamilnadu (5.5); WGM Meenakshi S of Air India (5.5) beat WGM Swati Ghate of LIC (5); WIM Harshita Guddanti of Andhra Pradesh (5) drew with WIM Srija Seshadri of Tamilnadu (5); WGM Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB (5) beat WIM Priyanka Nutakki of Andhra Pradesh (4.5); WFM Saranya J of Tamilnadu (4) lost to WIM Divya Deshmukh of Maharashtra (5); IM Vijayalakshmi S of Air India (4) lost to Potluri Saye Srreezza of Telangana (5); WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC (5) beat WIM Mahalakshmi M of Railways (4); WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy of Air India (4.5) drew with IM Nisha Mohota of PSPB (4.5); Priyanka K of Tamilnadu (5) beat WFM Meghna CH of Railways (4); WCM Isha Sharma of Karantaka (4.5) v Rutuja Bakshi of Maharashtra (4.5); Bala Kannamma P of Tamilnadu (5) beat WIM Parnali S Dharia of Maharashtra (4); Saranya Y of Tamilnadu (4) lost to WFM Nityata Jain of Madhya Pradesh (5); Nanditha V of Telangana (4) lost to WIM Bagyashree Thipsay of Maharashtra (5); WCM Mrudul Dehankar of Maharashtra (5) beat Rindhiya V of Tamilnadu (4).
Round-6 :- Divya Deshmukh lost to Bhakti Kulkarni; Vantika Agrawal beat Vijayalakshmi S; Soumya Swaminathan beat Isha Sharma; Srija Seshadri drew with Meenakshi S; Nityata Jain lost to Pratyusha Bodda; Nandhidhaa PV beat Mrudul Dehankar; Bagyashree Thipsay lost to Michelle Catherina; Swati Ghate beat Aarthie Ramaswamy; Priyanka Nutakki beat Meenal Gupta; Nisha Mohota drew with Bala Kannamma P ; Rutuja Bakshi drew with Priyanka K; Sanskriti Goyal lost to Harshita Guddanti; Neha Singh lost to Mary Ann Gomes; Mahalakshmi M beat Potluri Supreetha; Sakshi Chitlange drew with Sunyuktha CMN.