Rakesh Rao

Shares lead with Tania and Swati

PUNE: Just when all the attention was on the top three boards, Kiran Manisha Mohanty came up with a clinical demolition of Nimmy George and became the temporary leader midway through the ninth round of the 34th Women’s National ‘A’ chess championship at the SIMS Complex on Tuesday.

At this stage, overnight leader Tania Sachdev looked well on her way to beat Soumya Swaminathan, Swati Ghate was preparing to end the resistance of Mary Ann Gomes and second seed Nisha Mohota was on the threshold of forcing a draw with top seed D. Harika.

Kiran was not aware that her 43-move victory over Nimmy had also brought with it a Woman Grandmaster norm.

When told about it, she was mighty thrilled and waited for the official confirmation.

In the meantime, Tania messed up an opportunity to win against Soumya, Swati duly tamed Mary and Nisha held Harika. These results left Kiran in the joint lead with Tania and Swati at 6.5 points.


Indeed, the 18-year-old Kiran has been a revelation in this competition. Armed with a modest rating of 2263, she has so far performed at 2433 to meet the technical requirement for the WGM norm. She plays Tania on Wednesday.

P. Priya was the other norm-maker of the day. This Tamil Nadu girl drew with her senior Statemate Sai Meera in 48 moves to attain her third and final WIM norm. Priya, currently rated at 2129, needs to raise the rating to 2200 to be eligible for the WIM title.

Priya collected her earlier norms from the World junior girls’ championships in 2002 and 2007.

Coming back to the action on the leading boards, Tania raised visions of victory after establishing two connected passed pawns on the queenside.

However, Soumya made the most of the chances Tania offered and defended the position in an ending involving a bishop and a pawn each.

The draw left Soumya sharing the fourth spot with Harika at six points.

Harika, playing white, failed to convert a slight advantage against Nisha and drew in 37 moves. A fourth successive draw has made Harika’s task of winning the title somewhat difficult though she has the best tie-break score at present.

Swati held her nerves at the crucial moments of her game against Mary to come out stronger. She gained a pawn in the middle game of this Pirc game. Mary kept her hopes alive with some aggressive counter-play but in time pressure, lost a kingside pawn. Thereafter, it was only a matter of time before Swati joined two other leaders.

Later, in the day’s longest game lasting 95 moves, Andhra’s 16-year-old Ch. Divyasri proved equal to fourth seed WGM Eesha Karavade and reached five points. Rated at a modest 2050, Divyasri has so far gained 25.7 rating points and remains among the major gainers from the competition.

The results (ninth round): Tania Sachdev (6.5) drew with Soumya Swaminathan (6); Mary Ann Gomes (5.5) lost to Swati Ghate (6.5); D. Harika (6) drew with Nisha Mohota (5.5); Kiran Manisha Mohanty (6.5) bt Nimmy George (5); Eesha Karavade (5) drew with Ch. Divyasri (5); Sai Meera (4.5) drew with P. Priya (5); Pon N. Krithika (4) lost to Padmini Rout (5); Amruta Mokal (5) bt P. Uthra (4); Syed Nabeela Farheen (3.5) lost to Aarthie Ramaswamy (5); Anuprita Patil (3.5) lost to R. Preethi (4); Swati Mohota (4) bt Dhyani Dave (3); Rucha Pujari (4) bt S. Harini (3); M.R. Sangeetha (3.5) drew with C.H. Savetha (3); S. Athirai (3.5) bye.

10th-round pairings: Kiran-Tania; Soumya-Swati Ghate; Harika-Mary; Nisha-Padmini; Nimmy-Eesha; Divyasri-Aarthie; Priya-Amruta; Uthra-Sai; Krithika-Rucha; Preethi-Swati Mohota; Sangeetha-Nabeela; Athirai-Anuprita; Savetha-Harini; Dhyani bye.

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