Abu Dhabi Intn'l: Harika faces first loss; stays in contention

The World No. 9 Indian, playing with black pieces, got off to a flying start and drew first blood as she took the Romanian’s pawn in the third move of the game. But Deac ended up taking complete points from the game after a total of 78 moves.

Harika lost to Romanian Grandmaster Bogdan-Daniel Deac in the fourth round of the Master’s tournament in Abu Dhabi.   -  Special Arrangement

 

The Indian Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli failed to maintain her unbeaten run, losing to Romanian Grandmaster Bogdan-Daniel Deac in the fourth round of the Master’s tournament of the Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival.

The World No. 9 Indian, playing with black pieces, got off to a flying start and drew first blood as she took the Romanian’s pawn in the third move of the game. But Deac ended up taking complete points from the game after a total of 78 moves.

“In the latter stages of the game, I complicated the game with a move which was not needed and my position just kept getting worse,” Harika said.

“Another inaccurate move at the end got me into a losing position. If I had not committed that mistake, I could’ve saved it,” she added.

Harika has now moved down to joint third having won two, drawn one and lost one.

She will take on her good friend and compatriot Eesha Karavade in the fifth round of the tournament tomorrow and will play the sixth round in the evening.

Her opponent for her sixth-round clash will solely be dependent on her result against Eesha.

The large Indian contingent also had a less fruitful day in the fourth round of the Abu Dhabi Masters chess tournament as none of the five among the overnight leaders could manage a win.

Only P. Iniyan and Shardul Gagare brought some joy by holding higher-rated rivals. S. P. Sethuraman and M. Karthikeyan drew their games.

Important results (involving Indians):

Fourth round: S. P. Sethuraman (3) drew with Hovhannes Gabuzyan (Arm,
3); Tsegmed Batchuluun (Mgl, 3) drew with M. Karthikeyan (3); Shardul
Gagare (3) drew with Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (Rou, 3); Deac Bogdan-Daniel
(Rou, 3.5) bt D. Harika (2.5); Rauf Mamedov (Aze, 2.5) drew with P.
Iniyan (3); Anton Korobov (Ukr, 3) bt Raja Harshit (2); Salem Saleh
(UAE, 3) bt Tania Sachdev (2); Rishi Sardana (Aus, 2.5) bt Abhijeet
Gupta (1.5); Arjun Kalyan (2) bt Mircea-Emilian Parligras (Rou, 2); P.
Saravana Krishnan (2.5) bt Saveliy Golubov (Rus, 1.5).