Harika draws with Koste­niuk in world chess

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTSPORTSMAX - Press Trust of In­dia sports­desk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

KHANTYMANSIYSK(RUS­SIA): Grand­mas­ter D Harika set­tled for a sec­ond straight draw with for­mer cham­pion Alexan­dra Koste­niuk of Rus­sia to set up a tie-breaker against the same op­po­nent in the third round of the World Women’s Chess Cham­pi­onship here on Satur­day.

Af­ter the first game against the same op­po­nent ended in a draw, Harika was with black pieces in the sec­ond and she em­ployed a French de­fence and Koste­niuk did not have many an­swers.

The open­ing turned out to be pleas­ing for black and Harika was quick to neu­tralise with a finely crafted pawn ad­vance that saw ex­change of a few pieces lead­ing to a bal­anced endgame.

While in the first game Harika fought for a long time to find an ad­van­tage, with black she was happy to call it a draw in just 29 moves..

Harika will now take her chances in the rapid chess games of 25 min­utes given to each player and if the scores are tied, they play a cou­ple of games with ten min­utes each. If still tied, it will be two games of five min­utes on the clock and if the deadlock per­sist, the fi­nal game will de­cide the win­ner.

Start­ing from the first round, Harika has been play­ing ev­ery­day. The In­dian was stretched into the tiebreaker in the first round against Khukhashvili of Ge­or­gia while in the sec­ond an­other Ge­or­gian Bela Khote­nashvili had kept her en­gaged in the faster ver­sion of the game.

The Women’s World Cham­pi­onship is likely to be the last knock­out event as the re­cently changed lead­er­ship in FIDE, the World Chess Fed­er­a­tion, is look­ing at some def­i­nite ground break­ing changes in the women’s chess for­mat.

Harika is the last re­main­ing In­dian in fray.

Results of Round 3 Game 2: Zhai Mo (Chn) drew with Ju Wen­jun (Chn) 0.5-1.5 Wen­jun qual­i­fies; Jolanta Zawadzka (Pol) play­ing Ab­du­ma­lik Zhansaya (Kaz); Natal­ija Po­go­nina (Rus) play­ing Kateryna Lagno (Rus); Anna Muzy­chuk (Ukr) play­ing An­toaneta Ste­fanova (Bul); D Harika (Ind) play­ing Alexan­dra Koste­niuk (Rus); Alisa Gal­liamova (Rus) drew with Lei Tingjie (Chn) 1-1 goes to tiebreak; Ali­nasab Mobina (Iri) play­ing Mariya Muzy­chuk (Ukr); Gul­rukhbe­gim Tokhir­jonova (Uzb) lost to Valentina Gun­ina (Rus) 1-1 goes to tie-break.


Dron­avalli Harika

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