WGM Mary Ann Gomes defeated IM Nisha Mohota of PSPB to move into sole lead after the ninth round of the 38th National Women's chess championship in Chennai on Monday.
Mary leads the table with seven points, followed by WGMs Padmini Rout (Orissa) and Eesha Karavade (Maharashtra) with 6.5 points each.
Tania Sachdev's defeat at the hands of Eesha Karavade in the top board pushed her to the fourth spot with six points.
This was Eesha's fourth successive win. Facing Tania with black, her bold tactics paid dividends.
The Nimzo Indian game saw her achieve equality and surprise Tania with an early pawn sacrifice. Picking up the extra pawn did not help Tania as she found herself in further middle game complication.
With just under seven minutes to complete her last 20 moves, Tania erred, helping Eesha gain advantage and pocket the game in 26 moves.
Tania's defeat, along with Mary's win, propelled the Kolkata girl into sole lead.
Mary put behind her lone loss to Tania in her game against Nisha. The queen pawn game saw her keep Nisha guessing, throwing her out of theory early on.
Nisha missed a critical pin in the centre that saw her go a piece down. Resistance ebbed down with less material on hand to defend and Nisha gave up on the 37th turn.
Talented Andhra girl Pratyusha Bodda drew a hard fought exchange down game against veteran Sai Meera of Indian Bank. In the process, she completed her second Woman IM norm.
Her first WIM Norm also came in the National Women Premier, at Orissa last year. Pratyusha trains under N Rama Raju, the coach of GM Dronavalli Harika.
Chandika Divyasree of AP, who missed her WIM Norm chance, can still get it in the next round.
Divyasree, who improved her average rating, meets top seed IM Tania Sachdev and needs a draw to make her Woman IM norm.
Earlier the ninth round games were inaugurated by Shri Bharat Singh Chauhan, secreatary of the All India Chess Federation in the presence of Shri D V Sundar, vice president, FIDE.