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Aarthie falls to Kruttika

Kozhikode: Top seed Koneru Humpy of Andhra Pradesh maintained her top spot with nine points but it was less-fancied Kruttika Nadig of Maharashtra who stole the limelight defeating defending champion Aarthie Ramaswamy (TN) in the ninth round of the national women’s A chess championship here on Friday.

Kruttika had stunned the experienced Anupama Gokhale and held third seed Dronavalli Harika of AP to a draw on Thursday.

Employing Morphy defence to Aarthie’s Ruy Lopez opening, Kruttika suffered an initial setback when she lost a pawn on the 11th move and even offered to split points in her 48th move owing to a weak kingside. But then she started consolidating her position to gain a pawn on the 58th and two moves later forced a queen exchange. Aarthie resigned on the 79th move after Kruttika enjoyed a two-pawn up position.

“I was a bit nervous in the initial rounds but really gained a lot of confidence after defeating Anupama and going level with Harika on Thursday. I hope to do well in the remaining rounds to earn a IWM norm,” Kruttika said.

Following the leader was second seed S Vijayalakshmi (TN) with eight points, while Nisha Mohota was third with 6.5 points.

Sangeetha held Mohota to a well-deserved draw in a queen-pawn opening. In the end game involving 58 moves, the Tamil Nadu girl was enjoying a one-pawn up advantage.

Experienced Baghyashree Thipsay and Anupama, both of whom looked out of form, earned some consolation winning their respective games against Bengal’s Saheli Nath (Pirc defence) and Swati Ghate (Slav defence). (PTI)

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