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Saheli denies Nisha victory

Kozhikode: Carrying on her title campaign in style, top seed Koneru Humpy notched up another win to remain the sole leader with 13.5 points after 14 rounds in the national women’s A chess championship late Tuesday.

Notwithstanding her 12th round draw against statemate Dronavalli Harika, Humpy, yet to lose a round in the tournament, has established a clear 1.5 point-lead over second seed WGM S. Vijayalakshmi.

Even as the tournament is drawing to a close with only three more rounds left, Humpy and Vijayalakshmi looked to be the title contenders with the former all set to add one more feather to her cap.

Humpy easily took on the Nimzo-Indian defence of M.R. Sangeetha to win in 49 moves.

Vijayalakshmi, whose splendid performance had hitherto been overshadowed by Humpy’s remarkable run, overcame the queen’s gambit of Tania Sachdev to win in only 25 moves.

Earlier, in a Morphy defence, Vijayalakshmi beat Kruttika Nadig in 70 moves.

Nisha Mohota, the latest entrant to the WGM club, was held to a draw in an incredible show by Saheli Nath in 17 moves.

Mohota split points in her earlier round against Swati Ghate, who deployed slav defence.

Mohota continued to be in the third spot with 9.5 points and was closely followed by Harika, who outplayed the queen-pawn opening of Koneru Chandrahawsa in 66 moves, with nine points.

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