India's first chess features print magazine published quarterly from Lucknow since 2004 by Aspire Welfare Society.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

World Junior Chess 2013: Vidit Gujrathi wins Bronze for India

Kocaeli, Turkey: Former Under-14 world chess champion Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi won the bronze medal in the World Junior Chess Championship after settling for a quick draw with winner Yu Yangyi of China in the 13th and final round that concluded in Kocaeli, Turkey. (Photos: Photos by: Zeynep Yetisgin and Bengu Atli)

Gujrathi joined an elite list of Indians winning medals at the world junior champions starting from a gold medal by world champion V Anand in 1987, gold by Harikrishna in 2004, gold by Abhijeet Gupta in 2008 and Bronze by Sahaj Grover in 2011.

With Yangyi taking gold, the silver went to defending champion Alexander Ipatov of Turkey who defeated Aleksander Indjic of Serbia in the final round.

Yu Yangyi ended on 11 points from 13 rounds while Ipatov scored 10.5 in all.

Gujrathi tied for third spot along with Peruvian Grandmaster Jorge Cori and had the better tie break for his bronze medal.

Playing the black side of a Caro Kann, Gujrathi had little to do with black pieces as Yangyi was satisfied with a draw ensuring him the first place. On the second board Ipatop played it tough and defeated Indjic in a one sided affair.

"It's my best effort since winning the world under 14 a few years back," said Gujrathi after his medal winning performance adding quickly that he wants to break into the 2600 ELO rating club soon.

S P Sethuraman needed to win to be in contention of a medal and Jorgi Cori was not relenting as white. It was a Grunfeld defense wherein the Indian spurned down chance to repeat and draw and eventually ended on the losing side after gifting a handful of queen side pawns.

Grandmaster Sahaj Grover lost his second game in a row when he could not handle the complexities of a French Winawer against A R Saleh Salem of UAE.
Ending on 7.5 points, it turned out to be a mediocre performance for Grover who scored 50 per cent against the top three ranked players.

Debashish Das will have to wait for the confirmation of his Grandmaster title till the next tournament after he drew the final round game here. Needing a victory to complete his GM title, the Indian was held to a draw by Radoslav Dmitrov of Bulgaria.

In the girls' championship that concluded simultaneously, Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia won the gold scoring 10.5 points in all while the silver went to Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan. Top seed Alina Kashlinskaya of Russia won the bronze.

Padmini Rout ended as the best Indian girl ending on eighth spot on eight points. -- PTI

Important and Indian results final round (Indians unless stated): Yu Yangyi (Chn, 11) drew with Vidit Gujrathi (9.5); Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 10.5) beat Aleksander Indjic (Srb, 8.5); Jorge Cori (Per, 9.5) beat S P Sethuraman (8.5); Debashis Das (8.5) drew with Radoslav Dimitrov (Bul, 8.5); A R Saleh Salem (Uae, 8.5) beat Sahaj Grover (7.5); N Srinath (7.5) drew with Jinshi Bai (Chn, 7.5); Sanal Vahap (Tur, 7.5) beat Rakesh Kulkarni (6.5); S L Narayanan (7.5) beat Fang Yan (Chn, 6.5); Atay Sergen (Tur, 4.5) drew with Sameer Kathmale (4.5).

Girls: Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 10.5) beat Andrea Paula Rueda Rodriguez (Col, 8.5); Padmini Rout (8.5) drew with Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz, 9.5); Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 8.5) drew with Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 8.5); Mitra Hejazipour (Iri, 9) beat Aulia Medina Warda (Ina, 8); Ivana Maria Furtado (7.5) beat Marvorii Nasriddinzoda (Tjk, 6.5); Fronda Jan Jodilyn (Phi, 7) drew with G K Monnisha (7); Irina Petrova (Ukr, 7) beat Rucha Pujari (6); Ayelen Martinez (Arg, 6) lost to Riya Savant (7); Vo Thi Kim Phung (Vie, 6.5) beat Shristi Shetty (5.5); J Saranya (6.5) beat Alymbay Kyzy Aizhan (Kgz, 5.5); Anjana Krishna (6) drew with Anu Bayar (Mgl, 6).

Thursday, September 26, 2013

World Junior Chess Round 12: Indians Going for medal Finish

Kocaeli, Turkey: Indian Grandmasters Vidit Gujrathi and SP Sethuraman placed themselves for a medal contention as they defeated Jorge Cori of Peru and Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus respectively in the 12th and penultimate round of World Juniors Chess Championship.

The victories took Gujrathi and Sethuraman to nine points out of a possible 12 and at least one of them looked poised to get a medal.

Yu Yangyi of China almost assured himself of the gold medal by beating Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia. The Chinese top seed took his tally to a whopping 10.5 points and a draw as white against Gujrathi in the last round will assure him of the title.

Alexander Ipatov of Turkey remained sole second on 9.5 points after drawing his game with Wei Yi of China. The defending champion can also ensure the silver with a draw in the last round.

Gujrathi played white and outclassed Cori from a side variation in the Grunfeld defense game. The opening gave Gujrathi a small but lasting advantage and he was quick to pounce on a pawn in the early middle game. Cori lost another pawn and did not get the desired counter play as the Indian romped home in 37 moves.

Sethuraman had to work harder against Kovalev from a King's Indian defense by the latter. Sethuraman went for an attack on the Kingside sensing his chances once black pushed the pawns ahead and got the advantage as Kovalev went for an error-filled plan. The game lasted 45 moves.

The other Indian boys had a mixed day. Grandmaster Sahaj Grover lost to Aleksander Indjic of Serbia while Debashish Das beat Simone De Filomeno to come within striking distance of becoming a Grandmaster.

In the girls' championship, Padmini Rout played out a hard fought draw with Alina Kashlinskaya of Russia and remained in with a chance to fight for the medal. Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia defeated Meri Arabidze of Georgia to lead this section on 9.5 points. --PTI

Important and Indian Results:
Round 12 open (Indians unless specified): Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (Arm, 8) lost to Yu Yangyi (Chn, 10.5); Wei Yi (Chn, 8.5) drew with Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 9.5); Vidit Gujrathi (9) beat Jorge Cori (Per, 8.5); S P Sethuraman (9) beat Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 7.5); Sahaj Grover (7.5) lost to Aleksandar Indjic (Srb, 8.5); Simone De Filomeno (Ita, 7) lost to Debashis Das (8); Jahongir Vakhidov (Uzb, 8) beat N Srinath (7); Rakesh Kulkarni (6.5) drew with Sebastian Iermito (Arg, 6.5); Ege Koksal (Tur, 6.5) drew with S L Narayanan (6.5); Sameer Kathmale (4) lost to Temizkan Denizcan (Tur, 5). 

Girls: Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 9.5) beat Meri Arabidze (Geo, 7.5); Andrea Paula Rueda Rodriguez (Col, 8.5) beat Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 8); Deysi Cori (Per, 7.5) lost to Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz, 9); Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus, 8) drew with Padmini Rout (8); Rucha Pujari (6) lost to Qiu Mengjie (Chn, 7); G K Monnisha (6.5) drew with Ivana Maria Furtado (6.5); Riya Savant (6) Anastasiya Rakhmangulova (Ukr, 6); Aisa Imeeva (Rus, 6.5) beat J Saranya (5.5); Aizhan Alymbay Kyzy (Kgz, 5.5) drew with Anjana Krishna (5.5); Shristi Shetty (5.5) beat Belen Matute Loja (Ecu, 4.5).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

World Junior Chess Round 11: Padmini Rout beats Leader in Exciting Show

Kocaeli (Turkey): Women's Grandmaster Padmini Rout caused a major flutter by defeating tournament leader Irina Bulmaga of Romania in the 11th round of World Junior Girls' chess championship on Wednesday.

Playing black, Padmini was at her best in tackling Bulmaga who went hay wire in the middle game and lost a pawn. With perfect technique, Padmini picked up another pawn and then a rook for a knight, leading to a won position.

The shocker meant changes in the rankings as Aleksandra Goryashkina of Russia emerged as the sole leader here with 8.5 points out of a possible 11.

Padmini with this victory jumped to 7.5 points and she now shares the fourth spot with two rounds still to come.

In the open section being organised simultaneously, S P Sethurman continued with his fine form and defeated Nasanjargal Urtnasan of Mongolia. Sethuraman took his tally to eight points in all along with compatriot Vidit Gujrathi who too had a good day against Debashish Das.

Yu Yangyi of China regained sole lead defeating Andrey Stukopin of Russia on a day when defending champion Alexander Ipatov of Turkey was held to a draw Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia. Ipatov again slipped to the second spot on nine points, a half point ahead of Jorge Cori of Peru.

The Indian duo of Sethurman and Gujrathi are now joint fourth on eight points and need to do well in the last two rounds to be in with a chance for a podium finish.

Among other Indians, Grandmaster Sahaj Grover bounced back with a victory over Fang Yan of China, while N Srinath defeated Mykola Bortnyk of Ukraine.

Sethuraman had an easy day out of a Nimzo Indian defense as black. Winning a pawn in the endgame, Sethuraman was precise in his calculations and his two passed pawns proved much faster than Urtnasan's.

Gujrathi also won with black pieces. Debashish Das had a level position in the middle game but missed the thread as the game progressed. Gujrathi's technique was perfect to get a full point.

Sahaj Grover sacrificed a piece in the endgame when the position looked absolutely drawn. It was a good comeback for Grover after losing to Chinese Wei Yei in the previous round. -- PTI

Important and Indian results round 11 open (Indians unless stated): Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 9) drew with Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (Arm, 8); Yu Yangyi (Chn, 9.5) beat Andrey Stukopin (Rus, 7.5); Urii Eliseev (Rus, 7) lost to Jorge Cori (Per, 8.5); Debashis Das (7) lost to Vidit Gujrathi (8); Nasanjargal Urtnasan (Mgl, 7) lost to S P Sethuraman (8); Wei Yi (Chn, 8) beat Marcel Kanarek (Pol, 7); Fang Yan (Chn, 6.5) lost to Sahaj Grover (7.5); N Srinath (7) beat Mykola Bortnyk (Ukr, 6); S L Narayanan (6) beat Barros Rivadeneira Cristhian (Ecu, 5); Rakesh Kulkarni (5) beat Zhanbai Uulu Zhokhar (Kgz, 4); Assad Mamyrbay (5) beat Sameer Kathmale (4).

Girls: Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 8) lost to Padmini Rout (7.5); Deysi Cori (Per, 7.5) lost to Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 8.5); Arabidze Meri (Geo, 7.5) drew with Aulia Medina Warda (Ina, 7.5); Mitra Hejazipour (Iri, 7) drew with Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus, 7.5); Abdumalik Zhansaya (Kaz, 8) beat Sabina Ibrahimova (Aze, 6.5); Ivana Maria Furtado (6) lost to Ekaterini Pavlidou (Gre, 7); J Saranya (5.5) lost to Maria Bezgodova (Rus, 6.5); Ayelen Martinez (Arg, 6) drew with Rucha Pujari (6); Lena Miladinovic (Srb, 5) lost to G K Monnisha (6); Caterina Leonardi (Slo, 4.5) lost to Riya Savant (5.5); Anjana Krishna (5) beat Firat Deniz (Tur, 4).

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

World Jr Chess R10: Indians Joint Fifth

Kocaeli, Sept 24: Grandmaster S.P. Sethuraman came back into the reckoning with a thumping victory over Antonios Pavlidis of Greece in the 10th round of the World Junior Chess Championship here.

Playing the white side of a King’s Indian defense, Sethuraman went on the attack in the Saemisch variation and launched a direct assault with a pawn roller resulting in tremendous pressure. Pavlidis cracked when he ran out of useful moves and called it a day after 30 moves.

Sethuraman took his tally to seven points out of 10 games and given the fact that he has played the tougher opponents, he can now train his sight for a podium finish for which some more victories are needed in the rounds to come.

The Indian currently stands joint fifth in standings along with compatriots Debashish Das and Vidit Gujrathi (photo) who also have the same score.

Yu Yangyi of China, meanwhile joined Alexander Ipatov of Turkey in lead on 8.5 points disposing the challenge of Aleksandar Indjic of Serbia. Ipatov was held to a draw by Peruvian Grandmaster Jorge Cori on the top board.

These two are followed by Cori and Samvel Ter-Sahakkyan of Armenia on 7.5 points and the Indian trio is in joint fifth spot with five others. Sethuraman and Gujrathi have the best tiebreak among these players.

Debashish Das defeated Pouya Idani of Iran in a keenly contested game. Down a pawn in the middle game, Das never was in serious problems and worked his way for a fine counter play that left the Iranian defenseless.

Gujrathi accounted for N. Srinath in a miniature lasting a mere 20 moves. Out of an English opening, some lacklustre moves cost Srinath dearly as he fell way behind in development and it was all over in quick time. --PTI

Monday, September 23, 2013

World Junior Chess Round 9: Alexander Ipatov Leads, Sahaj Grover Joint 4th

Grandmaster Sahaj Grover provided the silver lining on a sluggish day for the Indian boys as he held top seed Yu Yangyi to a draw in the ninth round of the World Junior Chess Championship here in the ninth round.

Kocaeli: With the championship approaching its business end, the Indian boys were in for a rude shock as only Debashish Das could score a full point. Despite a good result, Grover slipped to joint fourth with 6.5 points.

Alexander Ipatov (photo) made the most of his chances against Indian GM Vidit Gujrathi and shot into sole lead on eight points out of a possible nine. For the records, this was Ipatov’s fifth victory against an Indian in the championship in as many matches.

For the first time in the event, Yu Yangyi slumped to second on 7.5 points while Jorge Cori of Peru elevated himself to third position on seven points.

With four rounds to come, Grover shares the fourth spot with Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia, Duda Jan-Krzysztof of Poland and Aleksander Indjic of Serbia, who all have 6.5 points apiece.

Among Indian boys, S.P. Sethuraman was held to a draw by compatriot N. Srinath in a keenly-contested game wherein the former could not make much use of an extra pawn for a long time as Srinath hung in to force a liquidation into a level queen and pawns endgame.

Das defeated lower-rated Jinshi Bai to move to six points, a position he shares with Srinath, Gujrathi and Sethuraman.

Grover did not get many chances out of a Nimzo Indian against Yangyi, who came with a new idea, forcing the Indian to spend a lot of time in the opening.

Grover found the way to equality without much ado and the players arrived at a rook and opposite colour Bishops endgame that was just level. --PTI

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan: Not Sure if I Defend Title in 2014

China's 19-year-old Hou Yifan has won the World Chess Championship for the third time. She told Anastasiya Karlovich, in an interview that: “This match was not as easy as people might think.” (Left: Hou Yifan, Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich)

The interview taken by Anastasiya Karlovich on the day after the decisive 7th game of the Women’s World Championship Match in which Yifan beat reigning Women's World Chess Champion Anna Ushenina of Ukraine, the 19-year-old World Champion talks about her preparation, her opponent Anna Ushenina, the match and her attitude towards chess and life. 

When I saw you in Beijing in July during Grand Prix tournament it seemed you were not really busy with preparation for the Match. Was it just my impression?
Actually I started my preparation few days after I came back from Tromso. In total it lasted less than one month. The only difference in my preparation was that I knew my opponent and it was a bit more specific. We didn’t have much time, so we worked on some basic things, some openings. 

There is an opinion you don’t really try to outplay your opponent in opening. Do you try to prove you are better in middle game and endgame, same way as Magnus Carlsen does?
Carlsen is famous for being very powerful and much stronger than most of the players in the world in the middle game and endgame. I’m not such a high level player. I believe openings are important but for me it’s also not the most important part of the game, it’s only the first stage and then we have two more.

What do you think about your opponent?
I think she is a strong player. We’ve played several games in the past but for few years we didn’t play at all. I thought if she managed to win the World Championship in knockout it means she is a fighter, she cannot be weak. 

After few years break you had a chance to play against Anna during Women Grand Prix in Geneva and you lost that game. What did you feel after? Did you make any conclusions?
At that tournament I lost not only against her, I also lost to some other players. The most important thing was my bad performance, I was not in a good shape and played just terrible. This game didn’t change my attitude to match, in any case I was going to prepare seriously as I try to do before any official event. Anybody who plays not only for fun should pay attention to preparation. 

How can you explain your results during the last year? Was it in some way connected with the forthcoming match?
I was not in a good shape for a long period. I don’t really know the reason but I thought it was normal in sense that in one moment it was supposed to happen. You cannot always play good and show great results. It also could happen here but what can you do about it, except trying to do your best to get ready for the tournament. I cannot also say that I put too much attention to the match and I didn’t care about other tournaments. No, my results were not connected with the match. In 2011 I showed good results before the match with Koneru, so I think I just had a bad period. 

Did your results during the last year influence your self-belief?
I’m not the person who cares so much about the results, even I take chess seriously. 

Was this period connected with changes in your life? As I know, you started to study in the university.
Yes, I cannot take so much attention to chess as I did before because I have to study as normal student. The only advantage I have is an opportunity not to attend lessons when I participate in the tournaments but I still have to study myself if I miss something. Also it depends on professors, if the person is quite strict and pedantic so I cannot miss a lot. 

What did it mean for you to play in Taizhou? What do you think about conditions? Is it important to play on “your field” as in football?
In fact, Taizhou is not my native city. I was born in Xinghua, it’s one hour by car from here. Xinghua has at least 1 million inhabitants and many of my relatives still live there. 
South of China is not so polluted; there is a fresh air here, better food, vegetables. Of course, while playing here I didn’t need to change my schedule due to time difference and food was okay for me but in general I think the organization was more or less the same as for any other chess event.

What was your reaction when you learnt that Korobov and Khalifman were going to help Anna Ushenina during the match?
At first when I saw her team I said as many other people did: “Wow! Her team is so strong and so powerful!” I thought at that moment: “Maybe I should be more serious about it? Maybe I should do something different?” (smiles) But then after Tromso I just decided to hire a second by myself to help me preparing.

Did you expect the match to finish so quickly?
Well, I was expecting any situation. I expected it would be difficult, or I would have some difficult moments. 

Can you tell which difficult moments did you face during the match?
The first game was very complicated and the fifth game also.

You believed Ushenina’s team was strong. Why did you repeat Keres Attack in the 5th game? Wasn’t it a bit risky?
It was just reasonable, so I repeated. How can you know that some other surprises are not waiting for you in other variations, other openings? (smiles)

How did it happen that Anna lost three games with white pieces? Do you think it was because of wrong opening choices?
In first two games there was Nimzo-Indian, my main weapon with Black. She didn’t lose those games because of openings. It happened later. I can only say that in the third game there was an obvious mistake made by her. 

Are you satisfied with the level of play you showed here?
It’s okay for me but not perfect. I didn’t make big mistakes, I didn’t blunder but I also didn’t play precisely sometimes. I had worse positions in the games I’ve mentioned and I think it was because of my inaccurate play.

You had already won two matches – one in Tirana against Humpy Koneru and another one just one day ago. How can you compare them?
I felt happy two years ago and I feel happy today because in general I’m glad to win such important tournaments. The match in Tirana was more difficult for me. Last time the first half of the match I had worse and difficult positions and I tried hard to fight back. This time it was more one-sided. At the same time this match was not as easy as people might think, judging only from the outcome. In Tirana I faced more problems in the openings comparing to this match but it’s hard to say if I was better prepared in the openings for this match or not. 

You had health problems in Tirana. Have you ever had that unknown pain in stomach again?
Sometimes I get sick during the tournaments. During this match I felt okay, but I had problems just few days before the start and had to take some medicines for 4-5 days. 

Who was helping you this time?
I didn’t have a team this time and as I mentioned before that I only hired a second short time before the match started. Also you may know that GM Ye Jiangchuan is our Chinese team’s chief coach, so when he had time he also helped me a bit but most of the time he had many other jobs to do besides preparing. That’s why finally I decided to hire a second by myself. And a lot of friends all around the World were helping me whether with advises in chess or just support. They were cheering me up and I feel very grateful. I really appreciate their help! 

How do you mentally prepare yourself for the games and for the match?
Of course, I considered this match as a very important event but it’s not the most important thing in my life. For me it’s more important to be healthy, to be happy person in my daily life. I will try to explain you another way. Health and happiness means number “1” for me. Achievements, victories are “zeros”. So I would add those zeros to number “1”. The total number of my day can be 10, 1000, 10000 but without number “1” it’s nothing. I think my attitude helped me to enjoy the match and feel good. I try not to make a tragedy if I lose a game. Until the match is not over I would just focus on following games. In general when you win it doesn’t mean something crazy, if you lose it’s not the end of the world. 

But what if you lose this match?
Yes, I thought about it before the match and for me both cases were acceptable. 
I know many people contributed to organize this match, I appreciate the help of the government and the organizers, but still all results were possible. I was just trying to do my best and to be optimistic.

What does this title means for you? How is it important for you to get it back after nine and half months?
I’m happy to get the title of the Women’s World Champion back. Last year my results were not so good and I hope it’s a signal that I started to recover. 

Do you feel you are the strongest player among women?
No, I don’t. There is no obvious difference in level between me and other players. There are many strong players who have rating over 2500 and with some of them I have a plus, with others balanced results. At the same time I don’t have an opponent among women I have difficulties to play against. 

Does it bother you that you can lose your title in the next World Championship with knockout system like it happened to you in Khanty-Mansiysk?
I have no idea if I’m going to play there or not, I don’t have clear schedule for the next year. You may know that I didn’t really want to participate in the World Championship but had to go to play because of other reasons in the end. I don’t have clear idea which system should be used in women’s chess but we can compare it with the system in men’s chess. I believe the organization of whole cycle in men chess is more reasonable, fairer. I would be glad if FIDE makes the same system for women chess. 

You are young, beautiful and the World Champion! How can you describe your life at the moment?
It’s still long way to go and I have many years ahead to do almost everything I want. It’s time to observe the new things in chess, in studies, in other parts of life. I just want to expand my life. Life is wonderful!

World Junior Chess Round 8: Alexander Ipatov, Yu Yangyi Lead

Kocaeli: Grandmaster Sahaj Grover (left) played out a draw with Iranian Pouya Idani, while Vidit Gujrathi defeated Polish Marcel Kanarek to be joint third after the eighth round of the World Junior Chess Championship here.

On what turned out to be a mixed day for the Indian boys, Gujrathi was at his technical best to squeeze out a victory with black pieces. The middle game arising out of a Taimanov Sicilian was about equal and Gujrathi reached a queen and minor piece endgame where he began perfect deployment of forces to win a pawn.

Kanarek went looking for counter-play but ended up losing his queen in a tactical melee. Grover fell short of time when he needed it the most in another Sicilian Taimanov of the day.

Pouya Idani was quick to spot a tactical stroke after suffering for the major part of the game and Grover could not find the right path to exert pressure with his clock ticking away. The result was a draw after Grover suffered some material deficit.
S.P. Sethuraman could not match the guile of defending champion Alexander Ipatov of Turkey and lost from a position of strength.

It was a promising middle game for the Indian out of a Queen’s gambit declined but Ipatov stayed focused to pose problems for white. As it happened, Sethuraman missed the thread of the position and lost a piece and it was soon all over.

Debashish Das was the other Indian who lost from a drawn position against Vladislav Kovalev Belarus.

Yu Yangyi of China shares the lead with Ipatov on seven points and these two are now a point clear of nearest rivals, Grover, Gujrathi, Idani, Kovalev and Jorge Cori of Peru who drew with Yangyi in the eighth round.

In the girls’ championship being held simultaneously, Padmini Rout showcased her attacking skills to outwit erstwhile leader Aulia Warda Media of Indonesia. It was a French Winawer by Padmini as white that led to complexities favouring her.

G.K. Monisha’s prospects of a norm suffered a setback when she lost to Lanita Stetsko of Belarus and the Indian will have to win a few games to come back in contention.

Among other Indians in the fray, Ivana Maria Furtado also suffered a setback while Shristi Shetty and Anjana Krishna also lost their games. Riya Sawant and J. Saranya won while Rucha Pujari was held to a draw.

Irina Bulmaga of Romania and Alina Kashlinskaya of Russia share the lead in this section on 6.5 points each. Padmini Rout shares the third spot with three others on six points. --PTI


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