After a five-hour gruelling battle, 11th seed Woman Grandmaster Priyanka Nuttaki shocked top seed and former Asian women’s champion Tania Sachdev, while Saina Salonika downed fourth seed and 2016 edition winner Bhakti Kulkarni in the fourth round of the Asian Continental Women’s Chess Championship, currently underway at Leela Ambience Convention Hotel here.
In the Open section, top seed R. Praggnanandhaa defeated IM Pranav Anand to join overnight sole leader Leon Luke Mendonca and four others on the leaderboard. Pragganandhaa and Mendonca now have the company of compatriot Karthikeyan Murali, Harsha Bharathakoti, Turkmenistan GM Maksat Atabayev and IM Koustav Chatterjee, who are sharing the lead with three-and-a-half points.
Mendonca showed great defensive skill to hold second seed Narayanan SL, while Karthikeyan Murali outwitted Aditya Mittal in a fine crafted play with a pair of bishops. Harsha Bharthakoti joined the leaders after capitalising on crucial errors made by his Indian GM rival Sandipan Chanda, while Koustav Chatterjee had a lucky escape against Kazakh No. 1 GM Rinat Jumabayev to secure full point from the outing.
The lone non-Indian among the leaders, Atabayev got the better of Grandmaster Aryan Chopra in a long battle that ended after 90 moves.
In other important encounters in the women’s section, Nandhidhaa PV beat Vantika Agrawal, while Vietnamese WGM Vo Thi Kim Phung defeated Liya Kurmangaliyeva to be joint leaders along with Priyanka, Nandhidhaa and Soumya Swaminathan, who beat Thi Mai Hung Nguyen of Vietnam in the fourth-round encounter.Important Results Round-4 (Indians otherwise stated): Leon Luke Mendonca (3.5) drew with Narayanan SL (3); Pranav Anand (2.5) lost to R. Praggnanandhaa (3.5); Aditya Mittal (2.5) lost to Karthikeyan Murali (3.5); Koustav Chatterjee (3.5) beat Rinat Jumabayev of Kazakhstan (2.5); Raja Rithvik (3) drew with Adhiban B (3); Sandipan Chanda (2.5) lost to Harsha Bharathakoti (3.5); Shyam Sundar M (3) drew with Saparmyrat Atabayev of Turkmenistan (3); Aryan Chopra (2) lost to Maksat Atabayev of Turkmenistan (3.5); Pranesh M (2) lost to GM Sethuraman SP (3); Srihari LR (2) lost to Aravindh Chithambaram (3); Abhimanyu Puranik (2.5) drew with Aditya Samant (2.5); Vokhidov Shamsiddin of Uzbekistan (3) beat Amartuvshin Ganzorig of Mongolia (2); Alisher Suleymenov of Kazakhstan (2) lost to Sanket Chakravarty (3); Samed Jaykumar Shete (3) beat Batchuluun Tsegmed of Mongolia (2); Karthik Venkataraman (2.5) drew with Nitish Belurkar (2.5).
Women’s Round-4: Priyanka Nutakki (3.5) beat IM Tania Sachdev (2.5); Vantika Agrawal (2.5) lost to Nandhidhaa P V (3.5); Rakshitta Ravi (3) drew with Nilufar Yakubbaeva of Uzbekistan (3); Vo Thi Kim Phung of Vietnam (3.5) beat Liya Kurmangaliyeva of Kazakhstan (2.5); Thi Mai Hung Nguyen of Vietnam (2.5) lost to Soumya Swaminathan (3.5); Saina Salonika (3) beat Bhakti Kulkarni (2); Divya Deshmukh (2.5) drew with Cholleti Sahajasri (2.5); Kiran Manisha Mohanty (2.5) drew with Mary Ann Gomes (2.5); Padmini Rout (2.5) beat Mrudul Dehankar (1.5); Nisha Mohota (2) drew with Eesha Karavade (2).