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Soumya jumps to sole lead

Chess board

Kolkata : Soumya Swaminathan of PSCB emerged as the sole leader with four points after splitting points with Pratyusha Bodda of Andhra Pradesh in the fifth round of the 42nd National Women’s Premier Chess Championship here today.

Soumya was content to sign truce after 22 moves and occupy the pole position as the other overnight leader Swati Ghate of LIC went down to Bhakti Kulkarni of Goa in a rook and pawn ending.

Swati now shares the second position jointly with top seed and defending champion Padmini Rout of Odisha with 3.5 points each.

Padmini shot into reckoning after getting the better of Michelle Catherina of Tamil Nadu with black in a French defence.

World U-14 girls’ champion R Vaishali of Tamil Nadu upset former National champion Tania Sachdev of Air India in a same coloured bishop ending.

Meanwhile bottom-ranked Neha Singh opened her account after four successive losses when she outwitted V Varshini of Tamil Nadu in a Sicilian defence.

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