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National Women's 2019 R05+06: Lady luck smiles on Vantika, Bhakti beats Divya

by Satanick Mukhuty - 23/07/2019

It was a double rounds day at the 46th National Women's Championship 2019. In the fifth round the top board saw a surprising escape when Bhakti Kulkarni blundered in a winning position and Vantika Agrawal salvaged a draw through perpetual. Divya Deshmukh won a nice tactical game in the same round playing the black pieces of a Sicilian against Varshini. The final round of the day saw more fire works as both Bhakti and Vantika crashed through winning against Divya and IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman respectively. After six rounds of the event Bhakti and Vantika share the lead with 5.5/6 points; while Soumya Swaminathan, Nandhidhaa P V, Michelle Catherina P, Pratyusha Bodda and Swati Ghate follow close behind with 5.0/6. Watch out for Swati, after the first round loss, she has scored 5.0/5!

Round 5: Divya Dazzles, Bhakti misses a win narrowly!

Divya Deshmukh might be just 13 years old but she is the third seed of the event and a sure shot contender for the national title | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

In round 5 of the 46th National Women's Chess Championship 2019 WIM Divya Deshmukh from Maharashtra was up against WIM Varshini V of Tamil Nadu. Divya had the black pieces and she opted for the Sicilian against Varshini's 1.e4. The latter went for the closed variation and on move 15 made a dubious pawn push in the center which allowed Black to tactically seize a dangerous initiative. Let us begin by looking at what happened in this game. 


Varshini V - Divya Deshmukh, Round 5

Position after 14...Be6: White has a nice set of pawns standing on the fourth rank, 15.f5 and 15.d5 both look tempting but it is in White's favour to wait.

With 15.f5 comes 15...Bxc4 16.Qxc4 Ng4 after which Qh4 is a strong threat, in the game 15.d5 was played which also incurred similar repercussions, Black went 15...Ng4 immediately and after 16.Bxb6 Qxb6+ 17.Kh1 Bd7 all sorts of deadly tactics were lurking in the air. Take note, White simply couldn't take 16.dxe6 here because of 16...Bxe3+ after which, once again, comes the crushing Qh4!

Position after 17...Bd7: There's the standard smothered mate motif with Nf2+ Kg1 Nh3+ Kh1 Qg1+ Rxg1 Nf2# that White has to deal with now.

Understandably, 18.Nd1 was played, White had to cover the f2 square. Next with 18...exf4 19.Rxf4 Black had some nice tactics to punish White with!

Position after 19.Rxf4: Can you find the crushing continuation for Black?

The best move in the position is 19...g5, White's best option after this is really to give up the exchange with 20.Rxg4, check annotations below to know why. In the game however, Divya went for the less forcing 19...Ne5 but this was also good enough for her. After 20.Qf1 Qd4 21.Be2 Ng6 22.Rf3 Qxe4 she picked up a pawn and went on to win pretty comfortably.

Position after 22.Qxe4: White is simply boxed in while Black's pieces are slowly taking charge.

On the top board it was IM Bhakti Kulkarni versus WIM Vantika Agrawal. The latter got into some serious trouble but in the end was just lucky to wiggle out with a perpetual. In the background is the poster S. Lakshana, the under-7 world's school champion and a student of Chettinadu Public School, Karaikudi - the venue of the tournament. | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Bhakti had the White pieces and the following position was reached out of an orthodox King's Indian opening. Black had the bishop pair against White's knights but the closed nature of the position meant that White had the upper hand.

Bhakti Kulkarni - Vantika Agrawal, Round 5

Position after 47.Ne4: Practically, no doubt it is White who has better chances but the advantage is anything but decisive.

The computer gives 47...Qe8 to be the best move here, check the annotations below for a nice equalizing line suggested by the engine. In the game however what Black did was far from ideal, it was 47...g5 that was played and this put the h4 bishop completely out of play.

47...g5 wasn't the best show of judgement

Five moves later something drastic happened! 48.Qd1 Qg6 49.Qf3 Bd7 50.Nf1 Be1 51.Nfg3 Bxg3 was played and now White had to recapture on g3 but how?

Position after 51...Bxg3 - Can you guess the blunder that White made that led to a draw?

Obviously, 52.Qxg3 isn't possible as the knight on e4 is hanging. The only two options are therefore 52.Nxg3 and 52.Kxg3. The latter leads to a comfortable win for White. A general plan, for example, would be getting the queens exchanged and then taking the king over to the queenside and pushing a4, a5 etc. But in the game Bhakti played 52.Nxg3? and this was a serious error that cost her half a point. Vantika played 52...Qc2+ at once, alas! now White couldn't escape the perpetual anymore, 53. Kh3 Qh7+ 54. Kg2 Qc2+ 55. Kg1 Qc1+ followed. There is no use in blocking these checks, for instance 56.Qf1 leads to 56...Qxe3+ and 56.Nf1 to 56...Qxc4 where Black is winning. Thus, repetition was forced and the game ended in draw!

WIM Srija Seshadri won a nice game against WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty of LIC when the latter underestimated her opponent's initiative on the kingside | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Srija had the Black pieces, out of a Ruy Lopez opening already by move 16 she made advances towards Kiran's kingside. The latter had to pay the price for not taking the implications seriously.


Kiran Manisha Mohanty - Srija Seshadri, Round 5

Position after 16...Nh4: Black has already taken a stride towards White's kingside, ideas of sacrificing the knight on g2 is in the air.

White went 17.Nd5 in the above position and this was simply careless. After 17...Bd6 18.Bg5 Nxg2 19.Kxg2 Qg6 Black simply broke through and the game was resigned in just 27 moves.

IM Soumya Swaminathan was held to a draw by WCM Mrudul Dehankar of Maharashtra | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy held legendary IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman to a draw. The players fought a 73 moves long game to reach a drawn R versus R+P ending, For Aarthie the tournament is progressing quite well as she has draws against Viji and Michelle and win against K. Priyanka. | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Results of round 5

Bo.No.NameRtgClub/CityPts. ResultPts. NameRtgClub/CityNo.
12WGMKulkarni Bhakti 2388AI4 ½ - ½4 WIMVantika Agrawal 2243DEL10
224WCMMrudul Dehankar 2074MAH ½ - ½ WGMSoumya Swaminathan 2402PSPB1
328WGMRamaswamy Aarthie 2020AI ½ - ½ IMVijayalakshmi Subbaraman 2357AI4
422WIMVarshini V 2087TN3 0 - 13 WIMDivya Deshmukh 2373MAH3
526WGMKiran Manisha Mohanty 2054LIC3 0 - 13 WIMSrija Seshadri 2306TN5
627Bala Kannamma P 2051TN3 ½ - ½3 WIMPriyanka Nutakki 2293AP7
78WIMPratyusha Bodda 2265AP3 1 - 03 Potluri Saye Srreezza 1999TEL30
832Saranya Y 1959TN3 0 - 13 WIMNandhidhaa P V 2259TN9
912WIMMichelle Catherina P 2226TN3 1 - 03 WFMMeghna C H 1903RSPB38
1029Meenal Gupta 2004J&K3 ½ - ½3 IMMohota Nisha 2221PSPB13
1145Sunyasakta Satpathy 1801ODI3 0 - 13 WGMSwati Ghate 2192LIC15
1216WCMSharma Isha 2188KAR3 1 - 03 Nandhini Saripalli 1933GOA36
1318WGMMeenakshi Subbaraman 2163AI3 1 - 03 Pandey Srishti 1882MAH40
1420WFMJain Nityata 2135MP3 1 - 03 Rindhiya V 1573TN66
1543Sunyuktha C M N 1815TN3 0 - 13 WIMThipsay Bagyashree Sathe 2093MAH21
1635WCMJyothsna L 1939TN ½ - ½ WIMMahalakshmi M 2227RSPB11
1714Priyanka K 2217TN 1 - 0 Abhirami Madabushi 1689TEL52
1823WIMHarshita Guddanti 2078AP 1 - 0 Shetye Siddhali 1837MAH42
1933Bakshi Rutuja 1958MAH 1 - 0 Thamaraiselvi P 1752TN48
2037Toshali V 1920AP 0 - 1 WFMSanskriti Goyal 1948UP34

Standings after round 5

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 w-we
110WIMVantika AgrawalIND2243DEL4,50,515,017,014,7541,82
22WGMKulkarni BhaktiIND2388AI4,50,514,516,013,7540,74
31WGMSoumya SwaminathanIND2402PSPB4,00,014,516,512,753-0,17
44IMVijayalakshmi SubbaramanIND2357AI4,00,014,016,012,503-1,14
59WIMNandhidhaa P VIND2259TN4,00,013,516,011,5040,28
628WGMRamaswamy AarthieIND2020AI4,00,013,515,511,5031,28
721WIMThipsay Bagyashree SatheIND2093MAH4,00,013,515,511,0040,05
812WIMMichelle Catherina PIND2226TN4,00,013,015,011,5030,04
18WGMMeenakshi SubbaramanIND2163AI4,00,013,015,011,5030,52
103WIMDivya DeshmukhIND2373MAH4,00,013,014,511,003-0,80
1120WFMJain NityataIND2135MP4,00,012,514,510,504-0,11
1224WCMMrudul DehankarIND2074MAH4,00,012,014,511,2530,72
135WIMSrija SeshadriIND2306TN4,00,011,013,010,004-0,66
8WIMPratyusha BoddaIND2265AP4,00,011,013,010,004-0,14
1515WGMSwati GhateIND2192LIC4,00,011,012,510,004-0,21
1616WCMSharma IshaIND2188KAR4,00,010,512,59,504-0,70
1723WIMHarshita GuddantiIND2078AP3,50,014,016,510,5030,91
1827Bala Kannamma PIND2051TN3,50,013,515,59,2530,59
1913IMMohota NishaIND2221PSPB3,50,012,514,59,752-0,87
2014Priyanka KIND2217TN3,50,012,014,59,253-1,24

Round 6: Bhakti and Vantika crashes through!

Bhakti Kulkarni was up against the young talent Divya Deshmukh in the sixth round of the day | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Divya Deshmukh couldn't hold her own against Bhakti Kulkarni in the sixth round of the event. With the White pieces Divya adopted the Trompowsky attack and the following position was reached on move 12.

Divya Deshmukh - Bhakti Kulkarni, Round 6

White has made the move 12.Qf4 ... How do you assess this position?

It turns out that Black gets an edge after 12.Qf4 ... In the game a series of exchanges followed 12...Nxd4 13. exd6 Nxf3+ 14. gxf3 cxd6 15. Qxd6 Qe8 and in the resulting position Black had the bishop pair and White's king was still stuck in the middle of the board. It couldn't castle on the kingside, while the queenside too wasn't particularly safe with the g7 bishop breathing down the long diagonal. Suddenly White's position was difficult to play.

Position after 18.0-0-0: Black has developed her c8 bishop and White decided to castle long, not the most comfortable decision to make.

Position after 25...Rd5: Black brings every last piece into the foray. On the other hand, White doesn't really have a target to hit on.

At this point Divya crumbled all the more under pressure and played 26.Bd3 which allowed 26...Qxf3. Next, after 27.Re1 came the final blow of the game!

White has just played 27.Re1, Can you find the spectacular way to finish things off?

Yes, Bhakti played 27...Rxd3!, after 28.cxd3 Qxd3+ 29.Kc1 Bxe4 it was game over and White resigned just after two moves.

After saving her game narrowly in the previous round, WIM Vantika Agrawal pulled off a shocker in the sixth round by beating IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

It was Vantika's day today as she miraculously saved her fifth round game against Bhakti and in sixth round defeated IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman. Thus, after six rounds of the event she still remains on the top along with Bhakti with an impressive 5.5/6. Against Vijayalakshmi she played a Catalan and got a strong central pawn majority. Let's have a look at how she capitalized on it.


Vantika Agrawal -  Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman, Round 6

Position after 20.e4: With this central thrust White's say in the position became apparent.

Position after 24.Ne5: After a series of exchanges on the a-file White opens up a discovery on the c5 bishop.

In the above Black went 24...Bxf2+ and 25.Kxf2 fxe5 followed and now White played 26.Rxb5!

Position after 26.Rxb5: Note if Black takes 26...Rxb5 then White has 27.Qc8+ Kf7 28.Qd7+ picking up the rook on b5

The game continued 26...Qf7+ 27. Ke1 and only now 27...Rxb5 was played but White had a different tactic in store in this case.

Position after 27...Rxb5: How should White finish the game off?

Vantika crashed through with 28.Qc8+ Qf8 29. Qxe6+ Kh8 30.exd5 and now her pair bishop in the open board was simply too much to handle. After only seven more moves Black had to call it a day!

It was after 38.Bg5+ in the above position that Black resigned!

Soumya Swaminathan won her sixth round encounter against WCM Isha Sharma with the White pieces in just 23 moves | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Nandhidhaa P V checkmated her opponent WCM Mrudul Dehankar | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Results of round 6

Bo.No.NameRtgClub/CityPts. ResultPts. NameRtgClub/CityNo.
13WIMDivya Deshmukh 2373MAH4 0 - 1 WGMKulkarni Bhakti 2388AI2
210WIMVantika Agrawal 2243DEL 1 - 04 IMVijayalakshmi Subbaraman 2357AI4
31WGMSoumya Swaminathan 2402PSPB4 1 - 04 WCMSharma Isha 2188KAR16
45WIMSrija Seshadri 2306TN4 ½ - ½4 WGMMeenakshi Subbaraman 2163AI18
520WFMJain Nityata 2135MP4 0 - 14 WIMPratyusha Bodda 2265AP8
69WIMNandhidhaa P V 2259TN4 1 - 04 WCMMrudul Dehankar 2074MAH24
721WIMThipsay Bagyashree Sathe 2093MAH4 0 - 14 WIMMichelle Catherina P 2226TN12
815WGMSwati Ghate 2192LIC4 1 - 04 WGMRamaswamy Aarthie 2020AI28
97WIMPriyanka Nutakki 2293AP 1 - 0 Meenal Gupta 2004J&K29
1013IMMohota Nisha 2221PSPB ½ - ½ Bala Kannamma P 2051TN27
1133Bakshi Rutuja 1958MAH ½ - ½ Priyanka K 2217TN14
1234WFMSanskriti Goyal 1948UP 0 - 1 WIMHarshita Guddanti 2078AP23
1344Singh Neha 1809BIH3 0 - 13 WGMGomes Mary Ann 2303PSPB6
1411WIMMahalakshmi M 2227RSPB3 1 - 03 WFMPotluri Supreetha 1873AP41
1517WIMChitlange Sakshi 2168MAH3 ½ - ½3 Sunyuktha C M N 1815TN43
1619WIMParnali S Dharia 2145MAH3 1 - 03 Sheena E. 1763KER47
1740Pandey Srishti 1882MAH3 ½ - ½3 WIMVarshini V 2087TN22
1825WFMSaranya J 2067TN3 1 - 03 Boramanikar Tanisha S 1720MAH51
1958Shriya R Revankar 1627KAR3 0 - 13 WGMKiran Manisha Mohanty 2054LIC26
2030Potluri Saye Srreezza 1999TEL3 1 - 03 Sunyasakta Satpathy 1801ODI45

Standings after round 6

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 w-we
110WIMVantika AgrawalIND2243DEL5,50,522,524,521,7551,82
22WGMKulkarni BhaktiIND2388AI5,50,521,523,520,7550,74
31WGMSoumya SwaminathanIND2402PSPB5,00,020,523,018,754-0,17
49WIMNandhidhaa P VIND2259TN5,00,020,022,517,0050,28
512WIMMichelle Catherina PIND2226TN5,00,018,521,518,0040,04
68WIMPratyusha BoddaIND2265AP5,00,016,518,515,505-0,14
715WGMSwati GhateIND2192LIC5,00,016,518,515,005-0,21
823WIMHarshita GuddantiIND2078AP4,50,018,521,515,0040,91
918WGMMeenakshi SubbaramanIND2163AI4,50,018,020,514,7530,52
105WIMSrija SeshadriIND2306TN4,50,018,020,014,754-0,66
117WIMPriyanka NutakkiIND2293AP4,50,016,017,512,504-0,90
124IMVijayalakshmi SubbaramanIND2357AI4,00,021,524,515,003-1,14
1328WGMRamaswamy AarthieIND2020AI4,00,021,024,014,5031,28
143WIMDivya DeshmukhIND2373MAH4,00,021,023,013,253-0,80
1520WFMJain NityataIND2135MP4,00,020,523,513,504-0,11
1627Bala Kannamma PIND2051TN4,00,020,522,512,7530,59
1732Saranya YIND1959TN4,00,020,022,513,5031,11
1821WIMThipsay Bagyashree SatheIND2093MAH4,00,020,022,512,0040,05
1930Potluri Saye SrreezzaIND1999TEL4,00,020,021,511,0040,29
2024WCMMrudul DehankarIND2074MAH4,00,019,522,013,2530,72

The seventh round will take place on 23rd of July at 10 a.m. You can follow the games LIVE here.