Edinburgh: WGM S. Vijayalakshmi defeated veteran GM Neil McDonald of England to move to the joint third spot after Round 6 of the British Chess Championship on Sunday.
Local GM Paul Motwani joined overnight leader Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh atop the table with a fine victory over compatriot Colin McNab. Both Rahman and Motwani have five points and face each other in the seventh round. Dibyendu Barua continued to disappoint and was held to a draw by the unheralded Thomas Nixon. Barua has three points.
Half a point behind the leaders are GM Joseph Gallagher of Switzerland, top seed Vassilos Kotronias of Cyprus, Jonathan Rowson of Scotland, Arakhamia Grant Ketevan of Georgia, Englishmen Peter Wells, Daniel Gormally and Indians Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Abhijit Kunte, P. Harikrishna and Vijayalakshmi.
Surya Sekhar drew with Gormally. The opening was a Sicilian Najdorf where the Indian, playing white, employed the classical set up and went for queenside play in the middle game. Gormally equalised with regular exchanges and forced the draw after 34 moves.
Looking for a WGM norm, Swati Ghate drew with Tejas Bakre. She stand s a good chance of clinching the norm here. GM norm aspirant S. Kidambi put his disastrous loss in the previous round behind and beat Andrew Greet of England to move to four points.
Nisha Mohota lost to Bangladesh IM Reefat Bin Sattar.
Vijayalakshmi’s superior tactics came in handy against McDonald who fell prey to some well-calculated manoeuvres. Vijayalakshmi is now a contender for the women’s crown won last year by Koneru Humpy.
The top board game between Rahman and Gallagher ended in a draw. without much ado. Rahman opened with the king pawn and Gallagher’s faith in the Kings Indian yet again came in handy with black pieces as he achieved equality in the Petrosian System. The draw was agreed to after 19 moves.
Kunte also did not achieve much against the Kings Indian of Kotronias. Opting for a rather unusual plan, Kunte let Kotronias maintain dynamic balance and drew in just 22 moves.
Among the Indian eves, Aarthie Ramaswamy and Eesha Karvade scored victories over Adrian Jackson and Chin Lee Lim, respectively, while S. Meenakshi drew with Samuel Williams.