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Harika wins National women's chess title

Last updated on: December 13, 2009 01:18 IST

Top seeded International Master Dronavalli Harika of Andhra Pradesh proved her supremacy when she won her maiden title in the 36th National Women's Premier Chess Championship in Chennai.

Harika drew her game against WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy to take top honours with 8.5 points.

In the 11th and final round on Saturday, WGM Meenakshi, who was in sole lead till the penultimate round, was facing WGM Mary Ann Gomes with the white pieces. As her tiebreak score was low, Meenakshi had to win to have a sniff of the championship title.

From an English opening she threw caution to the winds and went for an all-out attack against Mary's king, weakening her own king in the process.

Mary was quick to get her own counter-attack going and Meenakshi lost her way, losing the game in 35 moves facing an inevitable mate.

Meenakshi was runner-up with eight points.

On the second table, Harika was playing black against WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy. In a closed Guicco Piano set-up, Aarthie sacrificed a piece to create an attack against Harika's king.

Harika defended the attack well and was consolidating her extra piece. But when things were heating up the players drew the game seeing the top board results.

Harika offered the draw to Aarthie which was accepted on the 33rd move.

WGM Esha Karvade drew her game quickly in 19 moves to confirm her berth in the top six, while IM Tania Sachdev outplayed WGM Nisha Mohota in a Nimzo Indian game in 43 moves.

WIM Kiran Monisha Mohanty of Orissa outplayed WGM Soumya Swaminathan of Maharashtra.

In a Sicilian defence game, Soumya, playing Black, chose to part with her queen for two Rooks, banking on her extra pawn on the queenside. But Kiran was quick to breach Black's defensive King shield of pawns and combined her Queen and Bishop very well to launch a powerful attack.

Kiran eventually wrapped up the issue in her favour when she won a Rook on the 52nd move. With this win, Kiran secured the third place in the championship with 7.5 points and secured her second Woman Grandmaster norm.

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