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National Women's 2019 Round 4: A bedazzling Bhakti performance!

by Satanick Mukhuty - 22/07/2019

The round 4 of the 46th National Women's Championship 2019 was steeped in action. To begin with, upsets were caused by WCM Mrudul Dehankar and Srishti Pandey who beat WIM Mahalakshmi M and WGM Mary Ann Gomes respectively. Take note, Srishti Pandey from Maharashtra is more than 400 points lower rated than Mary! Next, on the top boards WIM Vantika Agrawal won her fourth consecutive game by beating WIM Nandhidhaa P V; IM Soumya Swaminathan also registered an impressive victory over WFM Nityata Jain, but it was Bhakti's performance against WIM Bhagyashree Thipsay on board 1 that stole the show. In this report we bring you photos, analyses, and much more.

Vantika and Bhakti on the lead with 100% after four rounds

Bhagyashree Thipsay versus Bhakti Kulkarni was certainly the game of the day where the latter put up a fine show of finesse and technique | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran 

IM Bhakti Kulkarni played a scintillating game in the fourth round of 46th National Women's Championship 2019 to beat WIM Bhagyashree Thipsay with the black pieces. It was the Italian opening where on move 16 an exchange of knights on g4 led to doubled pawn on the g-file, Bhakti found an ingenious way to make use of it. White did have a way to defend but WIM Thipsay wasn't quite able to find it. Let's have a look at what happened. 

Bhagyashree Thipsay - Bhakti Kulkarni, Round 4

Position after 16.Ng4: White invites an exchange on g4.

Black didn't have anything better other than taking on g4, 16...Nxg4 17.hxg4 was played and now White's h-file was open and the g4 pawn was weak but how to capitalize on this? A move like 17...Qh4, for instance, is easily refuted by 18.Nf5. Well, it was here that Bhakti found an interesting way ahead, she made the move 17...g6!? provoking Bxh6.

What is the idea behind 17...g6?

For starters, 18.Bxh6 isn't possible here because then comes 18...Qh4 followed by Kg7 and Rh8 with an unstoppable attack along the h-file, and next if White chooses to do nothing then 18...Qh4 comes very strongly as White doesn't have Nf5 anymore. The game followed 18.Re1 Qh4 19.Be3 Bxg4 and Black came in with force.

After 19...Bxg4, White had lost a pawn and the game went pretty much downhill for White.

However, Bhagyashree had one way to solve all these problems in the position. The move that she missed was 18.Nf5!! and this was the only move to save the game.

If White had found the brilliant 18.Nf5! then perhaps the result of the game would have been different.

The point is now Qh4 is prevented and if Black takes 18...gxf5 then after 19.gxf5 White either regains the bishop for her knight or after something like 19...Bc8 20.Qh5 Qf6 21.Bxh6 gets sufficient compensation. One can only wonder what would have happened had Bhagyashree played the move Nf5!?

Position after 22...Red8: The presence of Black's strong bishop on g4 meant that the d-file was all Black's to take. Now it was time to slowly switch the attack to the other side of the board.

Position after 25...Qd7: Black maneuvers all her pieces towards the queenside now and proclaims full domination on the d-file

Position after 33...c5: Black lashes out on the queenside

Position after 35...Bc4: Black is going to pick up another pawn!

From the above position the game went 36.Rb1 Rd2 37.Bd1 Bxb5 thanks to the double rook on d-file Black could simply snap off the b5 pawn. It wasn't long after that White resigned in the following position on move 44.

Position after 44.Qa4: It was in this position that White called it a day.

A fine performance by defending champion Bhakti. Is there anyone who can stop her? Replay the full game below:

WIM Vantika Agrawal also beat WIM Nandhidhaa P V playing the Sicilian with black pieces to join Bhakti on the top | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran 

Vantika finished off the game with a nice tactical motif.


Nandhidhaa PV vs Vantika Agrawal

Black to play and finish off the game in style

IM Soumya Swaminathan defeated WFM Nityata Jain who was one of the leaders after round 3. Soumya is now on 3.5/4 along with four other players | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran 

We have a little quiz for you from Soumya's game!


Soumya Swaminathan - Nityata Jain, Round 4

Position after 11.0-0

White played 11.0-0 and only after 11...Re8 she went 12.Bxc4 Nxc4 13.Qc5 to reach the following position:

Position after 13.Qc5

Notice, Black can't play 13...Nxb2 because of 14.Qb5 trapping the knight! Our question to you is, what would have happened if White went 11.Bxc4 Nxc4 12.Qc5 right away without getting the king castled first? Think about it and then check the answer in the annotation below:

Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman defeated Harshita Gudanti to take her score to 3.5/4 | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

WCM Mrudul Dehankar caused an upset by beating WIM Mahalakshmi M. | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Mahalakshmi M. - Mrudul Dehankar, Round 4 

White has just played 28.Nh4 threatening the black queen, what has she missed?

In the above position 28...Qg4 followed and after 29.Qxg4 fxg4 the h4 knight was trapped! Black played g5 soon!

Position after 32...g5: Of course, 33.Bxg5 isn't an option because then 33...Rxf2 is simply devastating!

WGM Meenakshi Subbaraman held higher rated WIM Divya Deshmukh to a draw with the Black pieces | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

More Photos

V. Hariharan former AICF secretary inaugurated the fourth round | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

IM Bhakti Kulkarni is in tremendous form can she defend her title this year? | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

WGM Swati Ghate defeated Jyothsna L. today. After her first round loss, Swati has won all her games and is well on track to making a strong comeback. | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Nandhini Saripalli is playing well in the tournament. After beating Pratyusha Bodda in round two, she drew with Meenakshi and in round four she drew her game against WIM Michelle Catherina P | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Srishti Pandey (1882) from Maharashtra pulled off a shocker by beating WGM Mary Ann Gomes (2303) | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Srishti Pandey vs Mary Ann Gomes, round 4

...f5 by Mary is one of those moves which looks great on the surface, but in reality does more damage than good. White took on f5 and got a beautiful square on e4 for her knight. Later Srishti played her knight to e3 and the slowly pushed Black back. It was a nice game for the girl from Nagpur.

Results of round 4

Bo.No.NameRtgClub/CityPts. ResultPts. NameRtgClub/CityNo.
121WIMThipsay Bagyashree Sathe 2093MAH3 0 - 13 WGMKulkarni Bhakti 2388AI2
29WIMNandhidhaa P V 2259TN3 0 - 13 WIMVantika Agrawal 2243DEL10
31WGMSoumya Swaminathan 2402PSPB 1 - 03 WFMJain Nityata 2135MP20
43WIMDivya Deshmukh 2373MAH ½ - ½ WGMMeenakshi Subbaraman 2163AI18
54IMVijayalakshmi Subbaraman 2357AI 1 - 0 WIMHarshita Guddanti 2078AP23
611WIMMahalakshmi M 2227RSPB 0 - 1 WCMMrudul Dehankar 2074MAH24
736Nandhini Saripalli 1933GOA ½ - ½ WIMMichelle Catherina P 2226TN12
813IMMohota Nisha 2221PSPB ½ - ½ WGMKiran Manisha Mohanty 2054LIC26
928WGMRamaswamy Aarthie 2020AI 1 - 0 Priyanka K 2217TN14
1015WGMSwati Ghate 2192LIC2 1 - 0 WCMJyothsna L 1939TN35
115WIMSrija Seshadri 2306TN2 1 - 02 WFMDhyana Patel 1900GUJ39
1240Pandey Srishti 1882MAH2 1 - 02 WGMGomes Mary Ann 2303PSPB6
137WIMPriyanka Nutakki 2293AP2 1 - 02 WFMPotluri Supreetha 1873AP41
1444Singh Neha 1809BIH2 0 - 12 WIMPratyusha Bodda 2265AP8
1546Smaraki Mohanty 1773ODI2 0 - 12 WCMSharma Isha 2188KAR16
1619WIMParnali S Dharia 2145MAH2 0 - 12 Sunyuktha C M N 1815TN43
1750Divyabharathi Masanam 1730TN2 0 - 12 WIMVarshini V 2087TN22
1825WFMSaranya J 2067TN2 0 - 12 Sunyasakta Satpathy 1801ODI45
1927Bala Kannamma P 2051TN2 1 - 02 Sheena E. 1763KER47
2056WCMChinnam Vyshnavi 1664AP2 0 - 12 Meenal Gupta 2004J&K29

Standings after round 4

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 w-we
110WIMVantika AgrawalIND2243DEL4,00,09,011,011,0040,97
22WGMKulkarni BhaktiIND2388AI4,00,08,09,59,5040,45
34IMVijayalakshmi SubbaramanIND2357AI3,50,08,010,08,503-0,10
424WCMMrudul DehankarIND2074MAH3,50,07,59,58,2530,61
51WGMSoumya SwaminathanIND2402PSPB3,50,07,58,57,253-0,03
628WGMRamaswamy AarthieIND2020AI3,50,07,58,57,0031,17
712WIMMichelle Catherina PIND2226TN3,00,09,511,58,252-0,41
89WIMNandhidhaa P VIND2259TN3,00,09,511,07,003-0,13
921WIMThipsay Bagyashree SatheIND2093MAH3,00,09,011,07,0030,20
1036Nandhini SaripalliIND1933GOA3,00,09,010,07,0021,60
1120WFMJain NityataIND2135MP3,00,08,510,57,0030,13
123WIMDivya DeshmukhIND2373MAH3,00,08,59,56,502-0,48
1318WGMMeenakshi SubbaramanIND2163AI3,00,08,010,07,0020,17
1426WGMKiran Manisha MohantyIND2054LIC3,00,08,09,56,5020,80
1543Sunyuktha C M NIND1815TN3,00,08,09,06,0031,73
1638WFMMeghna C HIND1903RSPB3,00,08,09,05,0030,18
1713IMMohota NishaIND2221PSPB3,00,07,59,56,752-0,37
1829Meenal GuptaIND2004J&K3,00,07,59,06,0030,15
1930Potluri Saye SrreezzaIND1999TEL3,00,07,59,05,0030,23
2032Saranya YIND1959TN3,00,07,58,55,7521,05

Follow the games live here. 22nd July is a double round day. Morning game will begin at 9 a.m. and the afternoon round will be at 4 p.m.

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