Mumbai: Grandmaster K. Sasikiran emerged the sole leader while overnight joint leader GM Dibyendu Barua faced his second defeat in the ninth round of the 40th National A chess championship Thursday.
Barua, who lost to IM Lanka Ravi, slipped to third position with six points. GM Abhijit Kunte, who defeated IM S. Kidambi in 52 moves, is hot on the heels of Sasikiran with 6.5.
In women’s section, Aarthie Ramaswamy maintained her overnight lead with five points from six rounds.
In the game of Cambridge Spring Opening, Ravi, playing white, defeated Barua in 43 moves. Barua lost a pawn on the 23rd move and later tried to recover, but couldn’t. Ravi capitalised on the situation and clinched the issue in 43 moves.
On the other board, Sasikiran maintained his winning streak with a crushing victory over debutant Arvind Shastri. Shastri could not handle the attack on his king on the queen side and succumbed.
In the women’s section, Ramaswamy maintained her position beating Krutika Nadig. The upset of the day was the defeat of S. Meenakshi at the hands of young Eesha Karvade in 78 moves.
Eesha displayed excellent endgame skills and did not let Meenakshi take control. WGM S. Vijayalakshmi, who has had a bad tournament so far, managed to earn full point beating Tania Sachdev in 48 moves. Vijayalakshmi has 3.5 points from six rounds.