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National Women's 2019 Round 7: A day of mistakes and missed chances

by Satanick Mukhuty - 24/07/2019

The seventh round of the 46th National Women's Championship 2019 was a day of mistakes and missed chances. On board-1 it was the highly anticipated Bhakti Kulkarni versus Soumya Swaminathan matchup but the encounter simply failed to live up to the expectation as the top-seed of the event couldn't quite find her form against the defending champion. Vantika Agrawal and Nandhidhaa P V drew their respective games against Pratyusha Bodda and Michelle Catherina; while Swati Ghate, who had made an impressive recovery after losing her first round game, faltered and lost to Meenakshi Subbaraman in a winning position. However, the biggest shocker came from Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman versus Potluri Saye Srreezza, where the former made a crude mistake on move 71 to lose in a dead drawn queen-pawn ending.

Bhakti has an easy outing against Soumya!

The Bhakti versus Soumya match-up didn't quite spark the fires as the latter couldn't put her best form on show | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

The seventh round of the 46th National Women's Championship 2019 saw the most anticipated encounter of the event as defending champion Bhakti Kulkarni was pitted against the top-seed Soumya Swaminathan. Unfortunately, the match-up didn't live up to its expectation. Soumya adopted the Grunfeld defense with the black pieces and ended up in a worse position as early as move 12 after making a premature pawn push on the flank, and on the 38th move she suffered an inexplicable brain fade and blundered away a whole piece. The game was resigned immediately thereafter.


Bhakti Kulkarni - Soumya Swaminathan, Round 7

Position after 11...e6: A standard Grunfeld exchange position where White has the central pawn duo which Black hopes to put pressure on from the flanks.

White went 12.0-0 in the above position and now a move like 12...Nc6 would have been fine but Black lashed out with 12...b5?! instead which didn't look like the most logical of moves.

12...b5 simply invites Nb3-c5 and leads to the weakening of the queenside.

The game continued 13.Nb3 Qa4 14.Bd3 Nc6 15.Qe2 and White challenged the b5 pawn straightaway. Well, Black couldn't support it with a6 because that would make the bishop on c8 look ridiculous, that's one more issue with the untimely b5 push.

Position after 15.Qe2: The b5 pawn starts to feel a tad uncomfortable.

Next, after 15...Rb8 16.e5 Ne7 17.Rfb1 Black pushed 17...b4, there wasn't a better option, 17...a6 18.Nc5, for instance, would be a positional disaster.

Position after 17...b4: This b-pawn has strayed too far up the board!

18.Nc5 Qc6 19.a3 a5 20.axb4 axb4 followed and it became apparent that sooner or later the isolated pawn on b4 would fall. Black stood worse and without counterplay.

Position after 20...axb4: Black badly needs to bring some of the pieces to play.

21.Be4 Qc7 22.Qc4 Bd7 23.Rxb4 happened next and White finally picked up the b4 pawn. Black was simply down a pawn now but still it wasn't all game over until move 38 when the catastrophe struck.

White has just played 38.Qf3 pinning the f6 bishop, now moves like Nd7, Bg5 looks threatening ... Black is worse but what should be her best chance at defending the position?

38...Nd5 would have been a logical try but Black lost it completely here and went 38...Ke7 - a poor tactical oversight. Can you guess what happened next?

What did Black missed when she played 38...Nd5?

White simply took 39.Qxf6+ and Black resigned. After 39...Kxf6 40.Nd7+ White wins back the queen and ends up with an extra bishop. A bad day for Soumya!

Swati's missed chance

Another disappointment of the day came from Meenakshi Subbaraman versus Swati Ghate where the latter with the black pieces was pushing throughout the game but made unfortunate errors in the end to first miss her chance at winning and then lose the full point | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Meenakshi Subbaraman - Swati Ghate, Round 7

White has played 31.Re2, the first mistake of the game. Can you find a winning plan for Black?

White played 31.Re2 perhaps with the aim of winning the b2 pawn but what she missed was 31...Qc7! after which the pawn on b2 can't be touched because of the possible discovery on d8-a5. Now something like 32.Re3 Qf7 followed by Qa2 is completely winning for Black but Swati simply overlooked these and played 31...e3?

31...e3: The second mistake of the game. This blows away Black's winning advantage. 

The game went 32. Rbxb2 Rxb2 33. Rxb2 and now came the final and decisive blunder of the encounter 33...Qf4? - instead, simply 33...exf2+ 34.Rxf2 would have left even chances.

Quiz for you - It is White to play and win!

Meenakshi was spot on this time and played 34. Qd8+ and after 34...Kh7 came 35. Nd7 threatening Nf8+ followed by fatal discovery. Black simply had to resign after 35...Qc7 36.Nf8+

Another shocking mistake!

The biggest shocker of the day was pulled off by Potluri Saye Srreezza, a 1900 rated player from Telangana, who defeated IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman! | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman - Potluri Saye Srreezza, Round 7

It was a perfectly equal queen-pawn ending when White made the abysmal 71.Qg5+ ... So, what's the winning move for Black?

Potluri played 71...Qg6+ and White immediately resigned. The point is as simple as it can be. This forces exchange of queens after which the g3 pawn simply promotes!

WGM Mary Ann Gomes beat WIM Priyanka Nutakki to take her score to 5.0/7. Will she be able to catch up with the leaders? | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

WIM Michelle Catherina drew WIM Nandhidhaa P V and is on fourth place with 5.5/7, while Nandhidhaa is on third with same points | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

WIM Vantika Agrawal drew WIM Pratyusha Bodda to slip to the second place with 6.0/7 points | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Bhakti Kulkarni has finally taken the sole lead with 6.5/7 points, will she be able to defend her title? | Photo: IA Gopakumar Sudhakaran

Results of Round 7

Bo.No.NameRtgClub/CityPts. ResultPts. NameRtgClub/CityNo.
12WGMKulkarni Bhakti 2388AI 1 - 05 WGMSoumya Swaminathan 2402PSPB1
28WIMPratyusha Bodda 2265AP5 ½ - ½ WIMVantika Agrawal 2243DEL10
312WIMMichelle Catherina P 2226TN5 ½ - ½5 WIMNandhidhaa P V 2259TN9
418WGMMeenakshi Subbaraman 2163AI 1 - 05 WGMSwati Ghate 2192LIC15
523WIMHarshita Guddanti 2078AP ½ - ½ WIMSrija Seshadri 2306TN5
66WGMGomes Mary Ann 2303PSPB4 1 - 0 WIMPriyanka Nutakki 2293AP7
725WFMSaranya J 2067TN4 0 - 14 WIMDivya Deshmukh 2373MAH3
84IMVijayalakshmi Subbaraman 2357AI4 0 - 14 Potluri Saye Srreezza 1999TEL30
926WGMKiran Manisha Mohanty 2054LIC4 1 - 04 WIMMahalakshmi M 2227RSPB11
1028WGMRamaswamy Aarthie 2020AI4 ½ - ½4 IMMohota Nisha 2221PSPB13
1114Priyanka K 2217TN4 1 - 04 WFMMeghna C H 1903RSPB38
1216WCMSharma Isha 2188KAR4 ½ - ½4 Bakshi Rutuja 1958MAH33
1327Bala Kannamma P 2051TN4 1 - 04 WIMParnali S Dharia 2145MAH19
1432Saranya Y 1959TN4 0 - 14 WFMJain Nityata 2135MP20
1553Nanditha V 1687TEL4 0 - 14 WIMThipsay Bagyashree Sathe 2093MAH21
1624WCMMrudul Dehankar 2074MAH4 1 - 04 Rindhiya V 1573TN66
1749Shah Vishwa 1734MAH 0 - 1 WIMChitlange Sakshi 2168MAH17
1822WIMVarshini V 2087TN 1 - 0 Sunyuktha C M N 1815TN43
1929Meenal Gupta 2004J&K ½ - ½ Pandey Srishti 1882MAH40
2067WFMBindu Saritha K. 1538LIC 0 - 1 WFMSanskriti Goyal 1948UP34

Standings after round 7

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 w-we
12WGMKulkarni BhaktiIND2388AI6,50,030,032,529,5061,26
210WIMVantika AgrawalIND2243DEL6,00,030,533,027,0051,85
39WIMNandhidhaa P VIND2259TN5,50,028,031,022,2550,23
412WIMMichelle Catherina PIND2226TN5,50,027,030,023,0040,09
58WIMPratyusha BoddaIND2265AP5,50,027,029,522,505-0,17
618WGMMeenakshi SubbaramanIND2163AI5,50,027,029,522,5041,06
71WGMSoumya SwaminathanIND2402PSPB5,00,030,033,021,504-0,69
83WIMDivya DeshmukhIND2373MAH5,00,029,532,520,754-0,66
930Potluri Saye SrreezzaIND1999TEL5,00,027,028,516,5051,19
1020WFMJain NityataIND2135MP5,00,026,530,019,5050,16
1121WIMThipsay Bagyashree SatheIND2093MAH5,00,026,529,517,5050,13
1226WGMKiran Manisha MohantyIND2054LIC5,00,026,029,019,2541,42
135WIMSrija SeshadriIND2306TN5,00,025,528,519,754-0,95
1427Bala Kannamma PIND2051TN5,00,025,527,517,0041,22
1523WIMHarshita GuddantiIND2078AP5,00,025,028,019,0041,20
1614Priyanka KIND2217TN5,00,024,527,519,254-1,10
176WGMGomes Mary AnnIND2303PSPB5,00,024,527,018,754-0,96
1824WCMMrudul DehankarIND2074MAH5,00,024,527,017,5040,80
1915WGMSwati GhateIND2192LIC5,00,024,026,017,005-0,75
2028WGMRamaswamy AarthieIND2020AI4,50,027,030,018,0031,54

The live games of 8th round begin at 10 a.m. on 24th of July. You can follow them LIVE here.

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