Grandmaster Koneru Humpy maintained her all-win record as Indian girls blanked Vietnam 4-0 to maintain the sole second position after the end of the fifth round of the World Women Tam Chess Championship, in Mardin, Turkey.
With four rounds still to go, China continued to lead the table with 10 match points and the Indians are just one point behind.
For the fourth time in five games, Humpy showed what it takes. Riding high on confidence, the Indian mainstay won an emphatic game with black pieces against Nguyen Pham Le Thao to pave the way for another team victory.
China meanwhile, scored an astonishing 4-0 victory over Olympiad winner Russia to continue the rampage. This was China's third 4-0 effort in the event and they are only matched by Indians who are yet to play tougher matches.
It was in fact a day for big victories as Georgia beat Greece 3-1 and Armenia crushed Turkey 3.5-0.5.
With China and India going neck and neck, Georgia picked up some pace and is now on seven points. Russians slipped to fourth spot on six points, a point ahead of Ukraine.
The sixth position is jointly held by Armenia, Vietnam, and Ukraine on four points while Greece and South Africa are now firmly at the bottom of the tables.
Humpy faced the English opening and launched an early assault against the white king. Nguyen went wrong in calculations when she failed to see the full picture behind a piece sacrifice and it was soon curtains as all of Humpy's piece came hurtling at white's king.
On the second board, D Harika came up with an inspired performance to outwit Hoang Thi Bao Tram. It was another English opening wherein Harika's queen side foray decided the issue.
Tania Sachdev cashed in on her chances on the third board in an irregular queen pawn game by Nguyen Thi Mai Hung. Playing black, Tania benefited from a blunder in the middle game and won a piece to score a smooth victory. Y Hoang Thi Nhu also could not match the wily manoeuvres of Padmini Rout on the last board.
The battle for supremacy in the premier women team event will now recommence after the lone rest day.
Results: Round five: India (9 points) beat Vietnam (4) 4-0 (Pham Le Thao Nguyen lost to Koneru Humpy; D Harika beat Hoang Thi Bao Tram; Nguyen Thi Mai Hung lost to Tania Sachdev; Padmini Rout beat Y hoang Thi Nhu); Russia (6) lost to China (10) 0-4; Greece (1) lost to Georgia (7) 1-3; Armenia (4) beat Turkey (4) 3.5-1.5; South Africa (0) lost to Ukraine (5) 0-4.