Second seed Tania Sachdev of Delhi and third seed Kruttika Nadig of Maharashtra registered emphatic victories to move into joint lead after the penultimate round of the 19th National Junior girls' chess championship in Kozhikode on Monday.
Overnight leaders Tania and Kruttika defeated Nabeela Farheen of Tamil Nadu and Kiran Mohanty of Orissa respectively to take their points tally to 6.5 from a possible eight. They are half a point ahead of a group of three players -- top seed Eesha Karvade of Maharashtra, sixth seed Saheli Nath of West Bengal and defending champion N Raghavi of Tamil Nadu.
A draw between Tania and Kruttika on Tuesday could still ensure the title for IWM Eesha provided she beats Mohanty, while Kruttika could walk away as the winner if all the games involving prominent players end in a truce, as she enjoys a better progressive score.
Playing on the top board, Tania, bounced back in the tournament after three draws as she beat Nabeela quite convincingly in 53 moves, while Kruttika overcame Mohanty's Sicilian defence in 49 moves.
In other key games, Eesha, employing Sicilian defence, had the measure of Lakshmy Praneetha (Champions Chess Academy) in 45 moves and Saheli defeated Iswarya Shobana (GLDN) in 42 moves.
Important eighth round results:
Tania Sachdev (Del) 6.5 bt Nabeela Farheen (TN) 5.5; Kruttika Nadig (Mah) 6.5 bt Kiran M Mohanty (Ori) 5.5; L Praneetha (CCA) 5 lost to Eesha Karvade (Mah) 6; Saheli Nath (WB) 6 bt Iswarya Shobana (GLDN) 5; Ramyakrishna (AP) 5 lost to N Raghavi (TN) 6; P Sivasankari (TN) 5.5 bt Jennitha Anto (ACA) 4.5; M Rajadarshini (TN) 5.5 bt Amrutha Mokal (Mah) 4.5; H Soumya (ACA) 5.5 bt Nimmi George (Ker) 4.5; Mary Ann Gomes (GNCA) 5 bt Anjana N Soujanya (CCA) 4; Supriya Maji (WB) 5 bt Saba Aziz Mhate (Mah) 4.