With just two rounds remaining, defending champion Air India’s Bhakti Kulkarni cruising without any turbulence and now enjoying one and half points lead over nearest contenders at the end of ninth round of 46th National Women Chess Championship 2019 sponsored by Chettinad Public School, Karaikudi.
In the ninth round, playing white side of Modern defence game Bhakti grounded teammate S Meenakshi in 37 moves to take her tally to eight and half points out of possible nine. Meanwhile Bhakti’s nearest contender Vantika Agrawal of Delhi suffered her first defeat in the championship by the hands of National Under-17 girls champion K Priyanka of Tamil Nadu in 70 moves arrived out of Modern defence game. With this crucial victory, Priyanka now moved to the joint second position and giving company to Vantika in point table with seven points.
In a surprising result of the day, Varshini V of Tamil Nadu shocked top seed Soumya Swamianthan of PSPB. Playing with dark colour pieces in a Pirc defence game, Soumya made a crucial blunder in the 31st move to hand over the advantage to her Tamil Nadu rival and succumbed to defeat in 46 moves.
A pack of eight players including third seed Divya Deshmukh of Maharashtra and three times champion Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB are now sharing the third spot with six and half points. Divya drew her ninth round match against teammate Mrudul Dehankar while Mary got better off former champion Swati Ghate of LIC.
In the penultimate round on 26th July, 2019, Priyanka paired against Bhakti while Vantika takes on Mary.
Round-9 :- WGM Bhakti Kulkarni of Air India (8.5) beat WGM Meenakshi S (6.5); K Priyanka of Tamil Nadu (7) beat WIM Vantika Agrawal of Delhi (7); WCM Mrudul Dehankar of Maharashtra (6.5) drew with WIM Divya Deshmukh of Maharashtra (6.5); WIM Varshini V of Tamil Nadu (6.5) beat WGM Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB (6); WGM Mary Ann Gomes of PSPB (6.5) beat WGM Swati Ghate of LIC (5.5); WIM Pratyusha Bodda of Andhra Pradesh (6.5) beat WIM Bagyashree Thipsay of Maharashtra (5.5); WIM Harshita Guddanti of Andhra Pradesh (5.5) lost to WIM Nandhidhaa PV of Tamil Nadu (6.5); WIM Michelle Catherina of Tamil Nadu (6.5) beat WIM Sakshi Chitlange of Maharashtra (5.5); IM Vijayalakshmi S (6) beat Nandhini Saripalli of Goa (5); Meenal Gupta of J&K (5) lost to WIM Srija Seshadri of Tamil Nadu (6); WFM Saranya J of Tamil Nadu (5) lost to IM Nisha Mohota of PSPB (6): WCM Isha Sharma of Karnataka (6) beat Potluri Saye Srreezza of Telangana (5); Rutuja Bakshi of Maharashtra (5.5) drew with WIM Parnali S Dharia of Maharashtra (5.5); Nityata Jain of Madhya Pradesh (6) beat WFM Sanskriti Goyal of Uttar Pradesh (5); WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC (5.5) drew with WFM Meghna CH of Railways (5.5); Bala Kannamma P of Tamil Nadu (6) beat Srishit Pandey of Maharashtra (5); WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy of Air India (6) beat Sunyasakta Satpathy of Odisha (5).