Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003
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By P. K. Ajith Kumar
Y. Prathiba (left) notes down a move on way to her victory over WIM Swathi Ghate in the fifth round of the National Women's `A' chess championship at Kozhikode on Tuesday. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup
She punished Koneru Chandra Hawsa for a costly a mistake and made it five out of five. The top seed from Andhra has thus extended her overnight sole lead to one point after the fifth round of the Oilum 30th National women's `A' chess championship at the Chess India Complex here on Tuesday. She has five points, and her nearest rivals are second seed S. Vijayalakshmi of Indian Airlines, who was well stretched by a fighting Eesha Karvade of Maharashtra in the fifth round, defending champion Aarthie Ramaswamy of Tamil Nadu and Nisha Mohota of LIC, all of whom have four points apiece.
Fifth seed Swati Ghate of LIC was shocked by Y. Prathiba of Tamil Nadu in the afternoon, but the former had beaten C.V. Rajalakshmi of Tamil Nadu in the morning, who messed up her chances of a draw and with that the hopes of her opening the account.
In the battle between the sisters, watched by their father and coach, Koneru Ashok, Chandra Hawsa, who employed Nimzo Indian Defence, looked comfortable in the opening. But on the 16the move, she errred with a strange king-side pawn push, and it was all over soon, as Humpy took control. The younger sibling finally gave up on the 31st move.
"I thought she played well till that terrible mistake," said Humpy later. "The game was lost as soon as she made that move."
In the morning too, the reigning Asian women's champion received some assistance from her rival, S. Meenakshi of Tamil Nadu. The game began with a Queen's Pawn push and assumed a Reverse Grunfeld look.
Meenakshi, with black pieces, started off well and had a promising position before making some weak moves. Humpy won in 48 moves, exchange and two pawns up.
Vijayalakshmi, who played Larsen Attack, and held her nerves to come victorious in a tough battle. She won in 66 moves, after giving an exchange for strengthening her pawns in the centre, which proved crucial in the end. "Yes, Eesha fought well today," said Vijayalakshmi, "and I had to really earn this win."
Prathiba beat Swati from 59 moves of Ruy Lopez in a rook and minor piece ending. M.R. Sangeetha did well to hold five-time champion Anupam Gokhale of Bharat Petroleum in 49 moves of Catalan Opening. In the morning she had held the other veteran, Bhagyashree Thipsay of IDBI.
Also in the fourth round, Tania forced the third seed Dronavalli Harika, who has 3.5 points, to split the point.
The results (fifth round): S. Meenakshi (IA) 2.5 bt Tania Sachdev (Del) 2; Koneru Chandra Hawsa (AP) 2 lost to Koneru Humpy (AP) 5; C.V. Rajalakshmi (TN) 0 lost to Saheli Nath (Ben) 2; Y. Prathiba (TN) 2.5 bt Swati Ghate (LIC) 2.5; Eesha Karvade (Mah) 2.5 lost to S. Vijayalakshmi (IA) 4; Saimeera Ravi (IB) 2 drew with Kruttika Nadig (Mah) 1.5; Bhagyashree Thipsay (IDBI) 1 drew with Nisha Mohota (LIC) 4; Anupama Gokhale (BP) 2.5 drew with M.R. Sangeetha (TN) 1.5; D. Harika 3.5 drew with Aarthie Ramaswamy 4.
Fourth round: Tania drew with Harika; Aarthie bt Anupama; Sangeetha drew with Bhagyashree; Nisha bt Saimeera; Kruttika lost to Eesha; Vijayalakshmi bt Prathiba; Swati bt Rajalakshmi; Saheli bt Chandra Hawsa; Humpy bt Meenakshi.
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