Chennai, Feb. 2:
Overnight leader Divya Deshmukh (5.0) maintained her lead with a hard fought seventh round draw against Nakhbayeva Guliskhan (Kaz) at Hotel Abu Sarovar Portico, Chennai. The draw halt by Divya, helped Michelle and Olga catch her with wins over Uuriintuya Uurtsaikh (Mon) and Chandreyee Hajra respectively.
Divya – Nakhbayeva turned out to be a wild game, where the Kazakh gave a piece for further attack. Holding the advantage, Divya blundered her bishop by 50th move, after which the game headed for a thrilling draw.
The Michelle – Uuriintuya game had mixed fortunes, as both had their chances. With the Mongolian making the final mistake, Michelle took the chance to turn the game in her favor. The win takes the Chennai girl to top of the table with five points.
Joining Divya anad Michelle on top was Ukraine’s Babiy Olga who put it across tail-ender Chandreyee Hajra. The Sicilian game saw the Ukraine girl pushing for the initiative from the word go. Chandreyee misplayed the middle game, going into a double rook with opposite colored bishop ending. With skilful handling of rooks Olga wrapped the full point after 52 moves.
With four rounds to go, Divya and Michelle hold good chances to achieve their Woman Grandmaster Norms.
Round 7 Results (Indians unless specified) :
Aakanksha Hagawane (4) drew with Osmak Iulija (Ukr) 4.5, Chandreyee Hajra (1.5) lost to Babiy Olga (Ukr) 5,
Michelle Catherina P (5) bt Uuriintuya Uurtsaikh (Mon) 3.0, Divya Deshmukh (5) drew with Nakhbayeva Guliskhan (Kaz) 3.5, Sapae Saloni (2.5) drew with Franco Valencia Angela (Col) 1.5, Munguntuul Batkhuyag (Mon) 4.5 bt Varshini V (2.0)