Harika plays out sec­ond draw with Koste­niuk, heads to tie-breaker

The Free Press Journal - - FPJ SPORTS -

KHANTY MANSIYSK (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 had fought for a long time to find an ad­van­tage, as 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. Harika is the last re­main­ing In­dian in the fray fol­low­ing the ouster of Pad­mini Rout, Bhakti Kulka­rni and Koneru Humpy.

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