Harika draws, faces world No. 1 next

After registering two straight victories, Indian Grand Master Harika Dronavalli settled for a draw against Armenia’s Gabriel Sargissian in the sixth round of Isle of Man International Chess tournament, here.

Harika Dronavalli settled for a draw against Armenia’s Gabriel Sargissian.   -  VV Subrhamanyam

After registering two straight victories, Indian Grand Master Harika Dronavalli settled for a draw against Armenia’s Gabriel Sargissian in the sixth round of Isle of Man International Chess tournament, here.

Harika had to fight really hard after she quickly found herself in a tricky position, to remain in the top 15 in this elite field.

“Yes, my opponent held the upper hand for the most part in the match. I had to be at my sharpest to get out of this game unscathed,” she said after eking out a draw.

The world No. 6, with ELO 2542, conceded that it devolved into a complex game, forcing her to go on the defensive.

She will, however, be happy with the result as Sargissian has a much higher rating with ELO 2670 points.

Harika will now face her biggest test against China’s world No.1 Hou Yifan in round Seven.

Interestingly, Yifan and Harika are locked with four points each in the tournament.

Yifan, who was sitting pretty at joint third before the last round, lost to Fabiano Caruana to slip down the ladder.