World Women’s Chess: Harika wins second tie-breaker in semis

World Women’s Chess: Harika wins second tie-breaker in semis

Harika DronovalliIndian chess Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli on Tuesday kept her chances alive in the World Women’s Chess Championship, underway at Sochi in Russia, by winning the second tie-break game in the semi-finals on her 80th move against Ukraine WGM Mariya Muzychuk.

Dronavalli, who earlier lost the first tie-break game in 38 moves, opted for Pric defence, playing with black pieces.

By the 13th move, both the players took their kings to safety by castling.

At one point of time, Dronavalli was two pawns down but soon regained one with some attacking play.

On move 32, the Indian brought her rook to the second rank and mounted pressure on the opponent.

At the end of 35th move, the Ukrainian had two connected passer pawns at the centre and was one pawn up.

While both the players had a rook and queen, Dronavalli had her two bishops for Muzychuk’s two knights.

An error by either one of them would have been costly at that juncture.

With deft attack, Dronavalli equalised the pawn deficit and in a tactical manner, pocketed Muzychuk’s knight.

After that, with good play, the Indian won the game.

“Despite a point down, Harika played well and kept the pressure on her opponent,” WGM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman told IANS.

With the scores tied, the winner will be decided in a five-minute blitz game that was slated to commence shortly.

In the other tie-break game, between Russian WGM Natalija Pogonina and Swedish GM Pia Cramling, the former won to move into final.

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