Top seed Harika jumps to joint lead

Top seed Harika jumps to joint lead

Meenakshi’s winning streak was halted by Priya (TN) who held her to a draw in 93 moves. Harika had earlier defeated R Bharathi (TN) and Meenakshi had to win to maintain the lead.
Priya played the exchange variation in the Ruy Lopez and held some slight theoretical advantage. Meenakshi, unwilling to settle for a draw, activated her double bishops. In the process, she lost a pawn but held her fort.

Harika defeated Bharathi, a former national Sub-junior champion, in 36 moves. From the white side of the closed Catalan game, Harika sacrificed a pawn on the 18th move to saddle Bharathi with a backward pawn.

Harika’s queen side pawn roll, aided by her double bishop advantage, was too much to handle forcing Bharathi to resign.

The game between IM Tania Sachdev (Air India) and WGM Kiran Monisha (Orissa) was fluctuating with both having advantage from time to time.

In an Grunfeld game, Tania exchanged the dark bishop to gain some chances, but her exposed king was a cause of worry allowing Kiran to pile up her major pieces. Mutual exchange of pieces petered out into a drawn rook and pawn ending in 41 moves.