Olga Girya continued to lead the field with 5.5 points after the completion of seventh round in the AICF-KIIT Cup Category-13 International Women Chess Tournament at KIIT University campus here on Friday. Russian WGM maintained her one-point lead against the nearest rival despite being held to a draw by Indian WGM Swati Ghate.
Playing from the black side of Caro-Kann, Olga accepted a pawn sacrifice by her opponent on the 24th move. A spirited display by the Indian in the rook and minor piece endgame forced Olga to exchange pieces and pawns. Players signed peace treaty in 59 moves with only kings remaining.
Armenian IM Lilit Mkrtchian jumped to the second place with 4.5 points, outwitting IM Cristina-Adela Foisor (Romania) on the second board. After four consecutive rounds of good display, Cristina’s Modern Defense did not work. The Romanian’s passive opening strategy helped Lilit win a piece on the 27th move.
Four players, including top seed Elisabeth Paehtz and local star Padmini Rout shared the third place with four points apiece. Odisha WGM Padmini suffered her first defeat by going down to Armenian GM Elina Danielina. Against the Grunfeld of Padmini, Elina as white did not go for the main line as a surprise value and was quite successful to some extent. Elina won an exchange on the 47th move by weaving a mating attack on black. Padmini resigned on the 61st move when white’s a pawn was threatening to queen. But Kiran Manisha Mohanty, the other Odisha WGM, tasted success by getting the better of IM Nisha Mohota from the Two Knights Game.
Results (Rd 7): Lilit Mkrtchian (Arm, 4.5) bt Cristina-Adela Foisor (Rou, 4), Kiran Manisha Mohanty (Ind, 2) bt Nisha Mohota (Ind, 2), Eesha Karavade (Ind, 3) drew with Mary Ann Gomes (Ind, 3), Swathi Ghate (Ind, 3) drew with Olga Giriya (Rus, 5.5), Elisabeth Paehtz (Ger, 4) bt Guo Qi (Chn, 3), Elina Danielina (Arm, 4) bt P Rout (Ind, 4).