Harika takes early lead in Chengdu

India’s Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli recorded a sensational victory over China’s woman Grandmaster Tan Zhongyi to emerge as sole leader after the first round of the the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix here today.

Harika Dronavalli is only playing her second Grand Prix.   -  VV Subrahmanyam

India’s Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli recorded a sensational victory over China’s woman Grandmaster Tan Zhongyi to emerge as sole leader after the first round of the the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix here today.

The 25 year-old who is playing in her second Grand Prix event looked in deft touch and was the only player to have registered a win in the opening round.

The game was well poised with both players sticking to safe approach and it looked like they were heading for a tie.

But as Tan tried to grab the initiative she lost the plot and Harika capitalized on it.

“It was an unclear position but as she tried to get aggressive, she overstretched it and I seized the opportunity and took advantage of her mistake and finished the game smoothly,” said the ninth ranked Hyderabadi player.

The other Indian in the fray Grand Master Koneru Humpy tied her first round game with Georgian Grandmaster Khotenashvili Bela.

Harika will now take on Georgian Javakhishvili Lela, while Koneru will be up against Chinese Grandmaster Zhao Xue.

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