Chess: Harsha remains sole leader; Nandhidhaa leads Women's section
New Delhi, November 1, 2022
Grandmaster Harsha Bharathakoti held top seed Praggnanandhaa R in the sixth round and with five points maintained his pole position while in the women's section Nandhidhaa P V grabbed the sole lead after beating compatriot Priyanka Nutakki in the Asian Continental Chess Championship here today.
Playing white side of Catalan opening, Harsha exchanged the pieces with the top seed at regular intervals to sign the peace treaty after 33 moves. A group of eleven players including Prgganandhaa are trailing behind the leader with a drift of half a point.
Grandmaster Leon Luke Mendonca drew with Sethuraman S P while Karthikeyan Murali split the point with compatriot Grandmaster B Adhiban. Second seed Narayanan S L moved closer with a win over Sandipan Chanda while Aravindh Chithambaram got the better of Ayush Sharma.
In the women’s section, Nandhidhaa emerged sole leader after beating Priyanka in the sixth round. Playing with dark pieces in the Alapin Variation of Sicilian Defense, Nandhidhaa capitalized the positional mistake committed by her opponent in the middle game to garner full point from the outing to take her tally to five and half points. She now enjoys a one-point lead over nearest contenders Padmini Rout and Priyanka Nutakki with three rounds remaining.
After a sedate start, 2018 edition winner and third seed Padmini Rout found her rhythm back to beat sixth seed Nilufur Yakubbaeva of Uzbekistan to follow the leader with four-and-a-half points.