CHENNAI, June 24: International Master Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman of Air India managed a slender half a point lead at 8.5 points after the 10th and penultimate round of the 43rd National Women Challengers Chess Championship here today.
Vijayalakshmi scored over Varshini V in 56 moves.
Earlier, Michelle Catherina P (Air India) stunned overnight joint leader Swati Ghate (LIC), moving into clear second spot at 8.0 points here at the Nehru Stadium.
Further half a point behind at 7.5 points were Swati, Soumya Swaminathan (PSPB) and Vaishali R (TN).
In crucial final round pairings, former National women champion Mary Ann Gomes (7) faces leader Vijayalakshmi (8.5), while Michelle Catherina P (8) takes on Vaishali R (7.5). In the third board, Soumya Swaminathan (7.5) crosses swords against Swati Ghate (7.5) in an all-Pune clash.
The top eight finishers qualify for the National Women Premier Chess Championship to be