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Swati becomes WGM; Ganguly joins Short at the top

GIBRALTAR, FEB. 5. Surya Shekhar Ganguly crushed Scottish Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson and joined overnight leader Nigel Short in the lead with seven points but it was the news of Swati Ghate becoming the country's seventh Woman Grandmaster that made India's day following the ninth and penultimate round of the Gibtele.com Master International chess tournament at the La Caleta hotel here.

With all the attention on the leading boards, where P. Hari Krishna drew with second seeded Russian Alexie Dreev and Short did likewise with Vladimir Epishin, Swati outplayed Spain's Enrique Osuna Vega to reach five points for her third and final WGM norm. Her previous norms came in the 2002 Czech Open and the 2003 British Championship.

Swati had already met the rating stipulation of 2300 by reaching 2342 in FIDE rating list of October 2001.

Ninth round (leading results): Vladimir Epishin (Rus) (6) drew with Nigel Short (Eng) (7); Alexei Dreev (Rus) (6.5) drew with P Hari Krishna (6.5); Surya Shekhar Ganguly (7) bt Jonathan Rowson (Sco) (5.5); Paul Motwani (Sco) (6) drew with Abhijit Kunte (6); Peter Wells (Eng) (6) drew with Sandipan Chanda (6); Bogdan Lalic (Eng) (5.5) drew with Murray Chandler (Eng) (6).

Other results (involving Indians): Alexey Kuzmin (Rus) (5.5) drew with Tejas Bakre (5.5); Bojan Vuckovic (Serb) (5.5) drew with Dibyendu Barua (5.5); S Vijayalakshmi (5) bt Andrew Dunn (Sco) (4); Nisha Mohota (4.5) drew with Abdela Felloussi (Mor) (4); Swati Ghate (5) bt Enrique Osuna Vega (Spa) (3.5); Erne Hagesaether (Nor) (3) lost to S Meenakshi (4); Jesus Andrades (Spa) (3) lost to Kruttika Nadig (4).

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