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Air India's Tania outwits Vaishali to share lead at chess meet

Mumbai: Top seed IM Tania Sachdev of Air India ended the fine winning run of Tamil Nadu's WFM Vaishali R by scoring an impressive victory in the Ram Ratna 42nd National Women's Challenger Chess Championship here today.

Tania outwitted her TN rival in 32 moves to jump into the joint lead with Vaishali, both having accumulated 7 points after round 8. They were followed by WGM Bhakti Kulkarni of Goa in second position with 6.5 points.

The contest between the two leading players, on the top board, saw Sachdev (ELO 2413) - playing with the white pieces - produce a good calculated approach to outsmart the overnight sole leader Vaishali (2276).

Vaishali opted for Benko/Volga Gambit in a bid to gain rapid development of pieces. On move 19 she made an exchange sacrifice to start an attack on King's side.

But her opponent replied by cleverly going for an exchange of pieces which enabled Tania to get an unstoppable connected passed pawn on Queen's side and then go on to win the game.

On the second board, WGM Kulkarni (2256) was in total control against WFM Rucha Pujari (2156) of Maharashtra and saw her finish with a well-deserved win.

On the third board, the match between WIM Michelle Catherina P (2220) of Tamil Nadu and Goa's WIM Ivana Maria Furtado (2236) ended in a draw in 23 moves.

Results: Top 10 boards: IM Tania Sachdev (AI) 7 points beat WFM Vaishali R (TN) 7 points; WGM Bhakti Kulkarni (Goa) 6.5 points beat WFM Rucha Pujari (Mah) 5.5 points; WIM Michelle Catherina P (TN) 6.5 beat WIM Ivana Maria Furtado (Goa) 5.5 points; Nimmy AG (Ker) 5 points lost to WGM Soumya Swaminathan (PSPB) 6 points; WCM Salonika Saina (Odi) 5 points lost to WGM Swati Ghate (LIC) 6 points; Priyanka K (TN) 5 points lost to WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty (LIC) 6 points; WFM Saranya J (TN) 5.5 points drew with WCM Tejaswini Sagar (Mah) 5.5 points; WFM Mahalakshmi M (PSPB) 5.5 points beat Alka Das (Jha) 5 points; WFM Srija Seshadri (TN) 5 points drew with WGM Mary Ann Gomes 5 points; IM Nisha Mohota (PSPB) 5.5 points beat WFM Tarini Goyal (Chd) 4.5 points.

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