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Women’s national premier chess: Swati, Soumya in lead


Kolkata: Swati Ghate of LIC and Soumya Swaminathan of PSCB retained their positions at the top with contrasting victories in the fourth round of the Women’s National Premier Chess Championship here on Monday.
While Soumya prevailed over Bhakti Kulkarni of Goa comfortably, Swati was a little fortunate to win her game from an inferior position from the Italian defence. Both Swati and Soumya now have 3.5 points after 4 rounds at the ICCR auditorium. Soumya got into a comfortable position against the French defence of Bhakti Kulkarni as the latter had a backward pawn on the e6 square. She gave her rook for bishop on the 38th move to open up the position and then got back the exchange a few moves later. Soumya had little difficulty in winning a queen and set up a rook versus queen and rook ending where she had an extra pawn. After her reversal against Pratyusha on Sunday, Padmini bounced back into reckoning with a 17-move win against bottom ranker Neha Singh of Bihar.
Neha’s woes continued as she blundered yet again — a piece on the 10th move — and then continued for a few more moves out of inertia before resigning on the 17th move.
Tania Sachdev of Air India won a rook for knight against K. Priyanka of Tamil Nadu in a king’s Indian defence.
Despite her material advantage, the game was heading towards a draw, but Tania’s resilience fetched her the full point as young Priyanka cracked under pressure and succumbed on the 82nd move.
Michelle Catherina of Tamil Nadu playing against Priyanka Nutakki of Andhra Pradesh with black had an outside passed pawn and a well placed bishop but her opponent escaped with a perpetual check and got a draw.
V. Varshini of Tamil Nadu got a queen for rook and bishop against Pratyusha Bodda of Andhra Pradesh but had to settle for a draw as her opponent had too many pawns on the queenside.


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