Report by I.A Vijayaraghavan V
Four players Padmini, Soumya, Meenakshi & Bhakti are leading the 6.5 points at the end of 10th round in the IWASA 44th National Women Premier Chess Championship here at Surat. In an interesting day leader Meenakshi lost to Kiran, Padmini & Bhakti who were in 2nd spot drew, Soumya caught up with leader and Nandhidhaa lost making the final round open. Though Meenakshi has better tie-break scores, final round results may cast the difference.
Defending champion IM Padmini Rout repeated the checks against Bhakti to a safe draw in 27 moves of the grunfeld defense. Trailing in the 2nd spot by half a point a tough tussle was expected between these two. Much to the surprise the game ended in a truce despite, Bhakti having an extra minor piece.
WGM Mary Ann of PSPB had an fairly easy win against Samriddha Ghosh after netting two pawns from her favourite fianchetto opening. Mary moves up the ladder with 6 points.
Soumya Swaminathan was back to her elements with a fine win over Sakshi Chitlange in 36 moves. Replying for the Queen pawn game chosen by Sakshi, Soumya got a strong pawn on d4 square. The weakness around the white king was untenable and Soumya netted a valuable point reliving her title chances.
LIC’s Kiran Manisha must be much relieved when she put a hold on her losses by scoring over the leader Air India’s Meenakshi. The exchange of queens had put Meenakshi pieces passive in the middle game. Kiran made inroads on black by winning pawns and won the bishop against knight ending in 51 moves.
WIM Nandhidhaa’s missed her way against tailender Srishti Pandey after she got a clear advantage out of opening. Pressure on the king file and weakness around white king, kept Nandhidhaa thinking for right sequence. A tactical blunder on 39th move leading to exchanges nullified her advantage. Nandhidhaa tried to push harder to win, but one should be appreciate Srishti for playing it cool and win the game in 79 moves.
A long battle of Rook and bishops of opposite color endgame appeared between Balakannamma and Swati Ghate. The latter went into the final phase with two pawns ahead but unable to convert it. Bala claimed a 50 move draw when there was no capture made.