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Bhakti on song
Defending champion Bhakti Kulkarni of Air India cruised through to defend her title with another superlative performance in the eighth round to maintain sole lead with seven and half points in the 46th National Women Chess Championship here at Chettinad Public School.
Bhakti was a class act on Wednesday with her black pieces against Tamil Nadu Women International Master Nandhidhaa PV in a Scandinavian Defence game. The game was looking equal till thirtieth move but when opportunity was provided by her opponent, Bhakti grabbed it with both hands to seal the match in 39 moves.
Meanwhile Vantika Agrawal of Delhi maintained her second spot in the points table with seven points after beating Michelle Catherina of Tamil Nadu in just 24 moves. Playing black side of Queen’s Gambit decline variation, Michelle miscalculated a bishop sacrifice on eighteenth move which paved way for an easy victory for the Delhi teenager.
With six and half points in the kitty, Air India’s Women Grandmaster Meenakshi S moved to lone third spot. In the eighth-round battle, Meenakshi got better of Pratyusha Bodda of Andhra Pradesh. In other important encounters in the eighth round, top seed Soumya Swaminathan of PSPB defeated Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC while third seed Divya Deshmukh beat Nityata Jain of MP.