Woman Grandmaster Padmini Rout of Orissa moved into sole lead with an upset win over top seed International Master Tania Sachdev (Air India) in the sixth round of the Velammal 38th National Women Premier Chess Championship 2011 being held at Media Centre, Nehru Stadium, Periamet, Chennai, India.
Padmini with 5.0 points, now holds half a point lead over Tania Sachdev, who remains in 4.5 points. Sharing the third spot with 4.0 points were WGMs Sowmya Swaminathan (PSPB), S Meenakshi (AI), Mary Ann Gomes (AAI), Swathi Ghate (LIC), IM Nisha Mohota (PSPB) and Pratyusha Bodda (AP) respectively.
Padmini faced the unusual Schliemann-Jaenisch variation in the Ruy Lopez from Tania, and took her time to come up with a game plan. By move 11 queens were off the board, and a positional fight ensued with a rook and two minor pieces.
Having given up a pawn early in the game, Tania found herself in the defensive, and barely managed to complete the 40 moves requirement within the stipulated time. But, by then the two time National Women champion’s position had weakened, and gradually Padmini advanced two of her passed pawns closer to the queening square. Caught up with further loss of material Tania resigned on the 50th move.
Other key top board games between, Mary Ann Gomes – Sowmya Swaminathan, Pratyusha Bodda – Nisha Mohota, A G Nimmy – S Meenakshi, ended in draws.
Tamil Nadu’s Woman FIDE Master J Saranya defeated Woman International Master Bhakti Kulkarni, inflicting a third consecutive defeat on the Goan girl. The Kings Indian game between the duo, saw a complicated middle game, from which Saranya emerged with an advantage. Deft maneuvers with her queen, rook and minor pieces, gave the Tamil Nadu girl the winning edge, after four hours of play. Faced with a forced mate, Bhakti resigned on the 59th turn.
The second half of the event resumes the day after, with Norm chances resting on Pratyusha Bodda (AP), J Saranya and S Harini ( both TN) and A G Nimmy (Kerala).
Top pairings for the seventh round are: Meenakshi – Padmini, Tania – Pratyusha, Swathi – Mary Ann, Nisha – Sowmya, Divyasree – Nimmy.