'Giant killer' Bhakti Kulkarni downs top seed as Indian women shine at Asian Chess Championship

Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Indian Woman Grandmaster Bhakti Kulkarni continued with her dream run and defeated Sarasadat Khademalsharieh of Iran in the fourth round of Asian Women's Chess Championship in Uzbekistan on Sunday.

Having beaten higher ranked compatriot Soumya Swaminathan in the previous round with white pieces, Bhakti came up with a sterling effort and went on to register a fine victory with black pieces against the highest ranked player.

It turned out to be a good day for the Indian women in general as higher ranked players Padmini Rout and Soumya scored fine victories after reversals in the third round.

Representational Image.Getty Images

Representational Image.Getty Images

Soumya had a daunting task facing Munguntuul Batkhuyag of Mongolia but the Pune-girl came unflinching to the board and delivered what was required. Padmini Rout scored a regulation victory over Uzbek Nodira Nadirjanova.

With five rounds still to come, Bhakti now shares the lead with Nguyen Thi Mai Hung of Vietnam and it will be a showdown between the two in the next round to determine the sole leader.

In the open championship being organised simultaneously, Grandmaster Surya Shekhar Ganguly scored over compatriot Aradvindh Chithambaram to emerge as one of the co-leader on 3.5 points.

It's a six-way lead at the top with top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, formed FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan, Ehsan Ghaem Maghami of Iran, Chinese duo of Wen Yang and Wei Yi and Ganguly who all have an identical score going in to the fifth round.

It was a hard day's work for Ganguly out of a Sicilian defence game against Chithambaram who played white. Ganguly is known world-wide as the former second of Viswanthan Anand and his experience came in handy when things got a bit rough in the middle game.

Updated Date: May 30, 2016 11:53 AM

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