VISAKHAPATNAM: International Masters P.D.S. Girinath and Lanka Ravi were the unexpected heroes in the 13th round games even as Deepan Chakravarthy emerged the sole leader, with 10 points, in the National `A' chess championship at the Swarna Bharathi Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.
Girinath was clearly the star of the day as he stopped Diwakar Prasad Singh in Sicilian Rossolimo Variation.
Up against someone who has been on a roll in the last four months, and known for his dangerous creative play deviating from bookish lines quite often, the player from Hyderabad came up with the right combinations.
With Singh struggling with his undeveloped pieces, Girinath offered an exchange that the former accepted by giving up his rook for bishop. This proved costly as Girinath lured him into a tactical endgame where he lost the rook and had to eventually resign.
For Lanka Ravi, too, it was a satisfying day, particularly after GM R.B. Ramesh refused a draw offer halfway through the game in French Defence Tarrasch Variation.
Ramesh's attempt to see his opponent slip into familiar time trouble did not work and an error on his part was his undoing.
Deepan outwitted S. Arun Prasad in Najdorff Variation in 58 moves. Better prepared for the opening manoeuvres, which was evident in his first 25 moves in eight minutes, Deepan exploited the inability of Arun to go for a counterplay. With Deepan having an extra bishop in the endgame, it turned out to be a fairly easy win.
Koneru Humpy's decision to go for a Ruy Lopez did not work and she had to settle for a draw against B.S. Sivanandan to be joint second with defending champion Surya Sekhar Ganguly (9.5 points each).
Ganguly exploited a clearly passive play from Dinesh K. Sharma in Scheveningen Variation and the latter's desperate attempt to try and develop his black square pieces only proved to be counter-productive.
In the women's section, 16-year-old Mary Ann Gomes outwitted Ishwarya Shobana in Najdorff Variation to pick up her first WGM norm.
Swathi beats Anupama
Swathi Ghate got the better of seasoned campaigner Anupama Gokhale in Pirc Defence in 28 moves to be the sole leader with 8.5 points. S. Vijayalakshmi, asserting herself after a sluggish start, scored an impressive win over Soumya Swaminathan in a Ruy Lopez.
Vijayalakshmi, with 7.5 points, shares the third spot with her sister Meenakshi who outwitted Swati Mohota in Benoni Defence.
Men (13th round): P.D.S. Girinath (5) bt D.P. Singh (8.5); Vikramaditya Kamble (4) lost to Arghyadip Das (5); J. Deepan Chakravarthy (10) bt S. Arun Prasad (6); R.B. Ramesh (5.5) lost to Lanka Ravi (4.5): Dinesh K. Sharma (3.5) lost to Surya Sekhar Ganguly (9.5); Sandipan Chanda (7.5) bt Himanshu Sharma (3.5); M.S. Thejkumar (5) bt Abhijeet Gupta (5.5): Sriram Jha (3) lost to Sundarrajan Kidambi (7.5); M.R. Venkatesh (8) drew with Abhijit Kunte (7.5); B.S. Sivanandan (5) drew with Koneru Humpy (9.5); Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (6.5) bye.
Women (12th round): Alka Das (3.5) drew with Eesha Karvade (6); Ishwarya Shobana (5) lost to Mary Ann Gomes (8); Nimmy A. George (6.5) lost to Nisha Mohota (6.5); I. Ramyakrishna (5) drew with Dronavalli Harika (7); Swati Mohota (4.5) lost to S. Meenakshi (7.5); Soumya Swaminathan (3) lost to S. Vijayalakshmi (7.5); Kiran Monisha Mohanty (6) drew with Aarthie Ramaswamy (6); J.E. Kavitha (5) lost to Supriya Maji (5); Swathi Ghate (8.5) bt Anupama Gokhale (3.5); Amruta Mokal (4) bye.