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World Chess Championship: Harika enters prequarters, Humpy out

Press Trust of India  |  Khanty Mansiysk 

Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika advanced to the pre-quarterfinals, crushing of in the second game of the rapid tiebreaker in round two of the world women's championship here.

After the shocking ouster of Grandmaster Koneru Humpy, Harika emerged as the last remaining hope for the Indian fans and the lady from Andhra did not disappoint, winning with black in the second rapid game played with 25 minutes for each

Having drawn the second game of the match as white without achieving much, Harika knew her chances were bright in the tiebreaker as she is known to be a

A bronze medallist in the last two edition in the knockout format, Harika was at her best when playing black.

It was the second rapid game and by transposition, Harika reached a Pirc defense, an opening that does not enjoy wide following in elite circles but at the same time something that promises a complex an uneven game.

Harika got her chance in the middle game itself when Khotenashvili overestimated her position and did not follow one of the basic rules divided forces often yield defeats.

With her pieces serving on the queenside, the Georgian grandmaster decided to break the center and that proved crucial as Harika was ready to punish this audacity.

Harika soon exchanged the queens at the right juncture and piled pressure along the center to win a piece by force.

The remaining technicalities were of little importance and it was all over for Khotenashvili after 50 moves.

In the first game of rapid, Harika was close to winning as well but could not convert a nearly winning advantage out of a Caro Kann defense as white.

In other big matches, of came back from the jaws of defeat to oust of while struck form at the right moment to beat unheralded from

For Harika the chance to get in to the last eight are bright as she takes on Alexandra Kosteniuk of in the next round.

The Russian is a former world champion but Harika had beaten her handsomely in the previous edition.

Earlier, Humpy's campaign came to an end after she lost to of in the second game of the second round here.

Having drawn the first game as black rather easily, Humpy did not get the desired complications as white and her hunt for an elusive advantage ended on a disappointing note.

Back in just before the Olympiad after a nearly two-year hiatus, Humpy, who has been among the top women players for a long time, will now have to wait for another two years to have a go at the next cycle.

Being ousted here in the second round might also mean that Humpy will need a direct seed in the proposed candidates tournament for women.

It was a Queen's gambit accepted by Zawadzka through transposition from the opening and Humpy kept the position balanced for a long time.

Slow manoeuvring in the middle game saw the rooks pair getting traded and the and minor piece endgame looked like headed for a draw.

While the draw would have kept her in contention in the tie-breaker, Humpy decided to go for the breakthrough on the side that compromised her own king's position.

Zawadzka was quick to pounce on the opportunity and some finely crafted manoeuvres saw her winning a pawn in the minor piece endgame that ensued.

The technicalities were not complex enough and the Polish won after 78 moves.

Pairings round 3: (Chn) vs (Chn); (Pol) vs (Kaz);

(Rus) Kateryna Lagno (RUs); vs (Bul); D (Rus); vs Lei Tingjie (Chn); (Iri) vs (Ukr); (Uzb) vs

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 20:00 IST