Padmini Rout shocks Tania Sachdev; moves into sole lead

Chennai: Woman Grandmaster Padmini Rout of Orissa moved into the sole lead with an upset win over top seed Tania Sachdev (Air India) at the end of the sixth round of the 38th National Women Premier Chess Championship on Thursday.

Padmini with five points, now holds a half a point lead over International Master Tania, who remains in second spot with 4.5 points.

Sharing third spot with four points each are WGMs Sowmya Swaminathan (PSPB), S Meenakshi(AI), Mary Ann Gomes(AAI), Swathi Ghate (LIC), IM Nisha Mohota (PSPB) and Pratyusha Bodda (AP).

Padmini faced the unusual Schliemann-Jaenisch variation in the Ruy Lopez from Tania, one that was effectively used by Ivanchuk against Anand at Sao Paulo recently.

By move 11, queens were off the board and a positional fight ensued with a rook and two minor pieces.

Having given up a pawn early in the game, Tania found herself on the defensive and barely managed to complete the 40 moves required within the stipulated time.

By then the two-time National Women champion`s position had weakened, and Padmini gradually advanced two of her passed pawns closer to the queening square. Caught up with further loss of material, Tania resigned on the 50th move.

In other important games, Mary Ann Gomes drew with Sowmya Swaminathan, while Pratyusha Bodda continued her good work, holding Woman Grandmaster Nisha Mohota to a draw.

Tamil Nadu`s Woman FIDE Master J Saranya beat WIM Bhakti Kulkarni, inflicting a third consecutive defeat on the Goan girl.

The Kings Indian game between them saw a complicated middle game from which Saranya emerged with an advantage. Deft maneuvers with her queen, rook and minor pieces gave her the winning edge after four hours of play. Faced with a forced mate, Bhakti resigned on the 59th turn.

Tamil Nadu`s S Harini and J Saranya, along with Andhra`s Pratyusha Bodda have bright chances of securing their Woman International Master norm in the coming rounds.

After day`s rest tomorrow, Meenakshi will face Padmini, Tania will take on Pratyusha, Swathi-Mary Ann, Nisha-Sowmya and Divyasree-Nimmy in the seventh round.

PTI