Meenakshi continues to lead in Women chess event

Chennai: Maintaining her winning streak, WGM Meenakshi Subbaraman of Air India continued to lead with 5.5 points at the end of the sixth round of the 36th National Women Premier Chess Championship.

Top seed IM D Harika (AP) is behind her with five points.

Meenakshi was at her flamboyant best against National Junior Champion Bhakti Kulkarni of Goa. Meenakshi took control of the centre early in the opening and netted two pieces for a rook on the 25th move.

A perplexed Bhakti resigned on the 36th move with her opponents "A" and "B" pawns rolling down the track.

IM Harika ground out WGM Mary Ann Gomes in a pawn up rook ending in 88 moves. In an English opening game, Harika won a pawn on the 30th move but had to work very hard to earn a crucial point.

The battle between the 2nd and 3rd seeds IM Tania (AI) and WGM Eesha Karavade (Maharashtra) ended in a draw in 25 moves. Tania was unable to gain any advantage despite having white against the Bogo Indian offered by Eesha.

The final position seemed to favour Eesha slightly but the players repeated the moves.

The game between WGMs Soumya Swaminathan and Kruttiga Nadig also ended in a truce in 54 moves from a Ruy Lopez variation.

Soumya seemed to be in attacking mood and even sacrificed a knight on the 41st move. Unperturbed, Nadig defended well and ended with two pieces for a rook. With the position becoming unclear, both players agreed for a draw.