SPORT

Kruttika back in sole lead

Kamesh Srinivasan

NEW DELHI: Kruttika Nadig recaptured the winning touch and regained the sole lead with 4.5 points as she beat Amrutha Mokal in the sixth round of the Parsvnath 35th National ‘A’ women’s chess championship at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture here on Tuesday.

Playing the Sicilian Dragon with a touch of assurance, the 20-year-old Kruttika teased Amrutha with sharp moves that won her decisive material advantage, despite the fact that she was playing black for the second successive day.

Smart play

In fact, Kruttika has proved quite smart as she has already registered three victories out of four with black pieces.

“We both played theory up to a point. It was a very complicated position. She made a couple of mistakes and I gained the advantage,” said Kruttika, who had a definite advantage as she had won two knights and two pawns for a rook, after 34 moves when her opponent resigned.

Lone other winner

Soumya Swaminathan was the only other player to record a victory on the day, as she arrested her dipping fortunes after a dream start, with a comfortable victory over Pon N. Krithika.

The young Krithika, inexperienced at this level, blundered with a queen move on the 20th turn and exposed her side to a barrage of attack.

Soumya was too good to let go the opportunity and aligned her forces in such a way that she gained a knight, bishop and a pawn, topping the attack with a mating threat.

Krithika resigned after 29 moves, leaving Soumya with four points, the same as the two-time champion Tania Sachdev.

Tania found a young Bhakti Kulkarni far too enthusiastic to let her breach the defence, and had to be content with a 51-move draw. Nisha Mohota, Amrutha and Mary Ann Gomes were following the leading pack with three points each.

Swati Ghate had an extra pawn in the end game against Mary, but was unable to manoeuvre her advantage for a win, and signed peace after 66 moves.



Eesha Karavade shared points with Kiran Manisha Mohanty and took her tally to 3.5.

The results (sixth round): Amrutha Mokal 3 lost to Kruttika Nadig 4.5; Nisha Mohota 3 drew with Padmini Rout 2; Mary Ann Gomes 3 drew with Swati Ghate 2.5; Tania Sachdev 4 drew with Bhakti Kulkarni 2.5; Soumya Swaminathan 4 bt Pon N. Krithika 1.5; Eesha Karavade 3.5 drew with Kiran Manisha Mohanty 2.

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