The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Humpy ensures title

Kozhikode: Top seed Koneru Humpy assured herself of the national women’s A title by remaining at the top of the table with 15.5 points after the 16th and penultimate round of the championship here on Wednesday.

Unconquered as yet, Humpy defeated Kruttika Nadig whose grunfeld defence lasted only 25 moves. In second spot is S. Vijayalakshmi, who collected 14 points after she overcame Saheli Nath’s Ruy Lopez opening in a well-executed Morphy defence in 46 moves.

With both Humpy and Vijayalaksmi guaranteed of the first two positions, an intense fight is on for the third and fourth spots. The top four will represent the country in the Olympiad to be held in Spain in October next.

Runner-up in the Asian women’s meet held here recently, Dronavalli Harika and latest entrant to the WGM club, Nisha Mohota with 10.5 points each and S. Meenakshi and Eesha Karvade with 9.5 points apiece will fight it out for the third and fourth positions.

C. V. Rajalakshmi, who was at the bottom of the table with only 1.5 points, scalped defending champion and statemate Aarthie Ramaswamy to cause a flutter. Aarthie resorted to defensive tactics which only helped Rajalakshmi, who deployed the English opening, to upstage her rival’s king’s Indian defence in 44 moves.

Earlier, Nisha, who needed an outright win to remain among the top four to qualify for the coming Olympiad, played well to encounter the queen’s gambit of Meenakshi in 68 moves.

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