B. Pratyusha of Andhra Pradesh stole the limelight in the UBI 40th National women’s premier chess here on Tuesday. The former under-17 National champion emerged the sole leader after two rounds of action on a day when seeded players could only manage draws.

Playing white against Bhakti Kulkarni of Goa, Pratyusha won the exchange of rook for bishop after which she exploited a pin on her opponent’s bishop to get the point.

Tania falters

Top seed Tania Sachdev of Air India squandered a winning end-game with black in a Catalan opening against former National champion Nisha Mohta of Petroleum.

Tania had an extra pawn and a better position but she let Nisha obtain counter-play on the opposite wing and was forced to agree to a draw in 62 moves.

Defending champion Mary Ann Gomes of Bengal drew the second game on the trot as she failed to surprise the former National premier and World junior champion Soumya Swaminathan of Petroleum.

Mary ran into a slightly inferior position from the opening but later sacrificed a pawn to obtain counter-play in the middle game.

She won the pawn back and had an active knight in the ending.

Despite her best efforts she failed to score a win.

Another former champion Swathi Ghate of LIC built up an excellent attack against colleague Kiran Monisha Mohanty but faltered at the crucial moment to let a victory slip out of her hands.

The 14-year-old National junior champion, Ivana Furtado of Goa, sacrificed a knight in a complicated position on the 20th move to break open the kingside of Michelle Catherina (Tamil Nadu).

After this, Ivana had little difficulty in wrapping up the game in 30 moves.

The results (second round): Swathi Ghate (LIC) 1.5 drew with Kiran Manisha Mohanty (Odi) 0.5; B. Pratyusha (AP) 2 bt Bhakti Kulkarni (Goa) 1; Padmini Rout (Odi) 1 bt G.K. Monnisha (TN) 0; Nisha Mohta (PSPB) 1 drew with Tania Sachdev (AI) 1.5; Mary Ann Gomes (Ben) 1 drew with Soumya Swaminathan (PSPB) 1; Ivana Maria Furtado (Goa) 1 bt Michelle Catherina (TN) 0.5.

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