The unheralded Riya Savant (6.5) of Goa shocked top seed and the sole overnight leader M. Mahalakshmi (7) of Tamil Nadu in the ninth round to reopen the contest in the 30th National sub-junior chess for girls here on Monday.
Mahalakshmi, who had maintained her top spot despite a draw in the previous round, slipped from the leadership after the loss.
Varshini in lead
Velavan Varshini (7.5) of Tamil Nadu made the most of this opportunity to take the sole lead with a win over Shiny Das (5.5) of Tripura.
In the 39th National sub-junior chess for boys, second-seed IM Murali Karthikeyan (7.5) of Tamil Nadu maintained the sole lead with a draw against Statemate B. Kumaran (7) on the top board of the ninth round.
Five players — including B. Kumaran, IM Diptayan Ghosh (Bengal), Sidhant Mohapatra (Odisha), Aravindh Chithambaram (TN) and Harsha Bharathakoti (AP) — were adrift by half a point each to share the second position.
Important results (ninth round): Boys: B. Kumaran (TN) 7 drew with Murali Karthikeyan (TN) 7.5; Diptayan Ghosh (Ben) 7 drew with Sidhant Mohapatra (Odi) 7; Shiekh Nubairshah Mohammad (Mah) 6 lost to Aravindh Chithambaram (TN) 7.
N.R. Vignesh (TN) 6.5 drew with Pranav Vijay (TN) 6.5; A.L. Muthaiah (TN) 6 lost to Harsha Bharathakoti (AP) 7; K. Anshuman (TN) 6 lost to N. Krishna Teja (AP) 6.5; N.R. Visakh (TN) 6.5 bt A. Abhishek (Ker) 5.5; V. Karthik (AP) lost to S. Ajay Krishna (TN) 6.5.
Girls: M. Mahalakshmi (TN) 7 lost to Riya Savant (Goa) 6.5; Shiny Das (Tri) 5.5 lost to V. Varshini (TN) 7.5; G.K. Monnisha (TN) 7 bt C.H. Meghna (Ker) 6.
; D. Meera (TN) 5.5 lost to R. Vaishali (TN) 6.5; Divya Garg (Mah) 6 drew with U. Ashwini (TN) 6; Saloni Sapale (Mah) 5.5 lost to Rutuja Bakshi (Mah) 6.5; Smaraki Mohanty (Odi) 6 drew with Dhanashree Pandit (Mah) 6; Bhagya Jayesh (Ker) 6 drew with Arpita Mukherjee (Ben) 6.