Calcutta: WGM Soumya Swaminathan’s thrilling victory on Monday has created the possibility of an exciting finish at the UBI 40th National Women’s Premier Chess Championship, being organised by the Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy and Allsport Management, at the Spring Club.
At the end of Round VIII, Soumya of PSPB and Swathi Ghate of LIC are leading the group of twelve with 5.5 points apiece. But the duo is closely followed by the trio of Mary Ann Gomes, Padmini Rout and Tania Sachdev, who are on 5 points each. With three more rounds are still to go, it’s obvious that all of the above five will fancy their chances of claiming the title.
In Monday’s Round VIII games, Soumya stole the spotlight as she overcame an inferior position to get the better of WGM Bhakti Kulkarni, who missed a number of chances with black in a Centre Counter defence. It must be said that Soumya has luck on her side as on Sunday too she had won against GK Monnisha despite being in a disadvantageous position for most of the game.
Top seed Tania continued her good run with another victory. Tania, who had lost a few games in the initial rounds and had fallen back in the points tally, has found her rhythm back. On Monday, she outplayed Monnisha in a bishop ending, which extended up to the 79th move. At one stage, Monnisha was left with her lone king against Tania’s queen and bishop. The win took Tania to 5 points.
Overnight leader Swathi, playing with white against Nisha Mohota of PSPB, obtained a winning endgame against the latter in a minor piece ending.
But the much-experienced Swathi allowed Nisha to escape with a draw by setting up a blockade in a knight versus bishop ending.