World Chess C’ship: Harika stops Dzagnidze, enters semifinals

Fourth seed D. Harika proved her superiority over Georgia’s Nana Dzagnidze 1.5-0.5 in the two rapid tie-break games and entered the semifinals of the Women’s World Chess Championship

Harika Dronavalli is through to the semifinal of World Chess Championship.   -  Twitter

Showing fierce determination, fourth seed D. Harika proved her superiority over Georgia’s Nana Dzagnidze 1.5-0.5 in the two rapid tie-break games and entered the semifinals of the Women’s World Chess Championship here.

Playing white, Harika won the first 25-minute rapid game in 53 moves following a rook-and-pawn endgame. Dzagnidze gave up her rook to prevent Harika’s central pawn from ‘queening’ and soon resigned.

In the second, Harika gained the upper hand. She had an extra knight after the 33rd move and showed no hurry to cash in on the desperation of her more experienced rival. Eventually, Harika settled for a 49-move draw that signalled her third entry into the semifinals.

In 2012 (Khanty Mansysk) and 2015 (Sochi), too, Harika made the semifinals.

On Thursday, Harika will take on China’s Tan Zhongyi, who upstaged her top-seeded compatriot Ju Wenjun in the quarterfinals after taking out Padmini Rout in the pre-quarterfinals. The other semifinal will feature second seeded Ukrainian Anna Muzychuk and third seed Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk, the 2008 champion.

The results:

Quarterfinals: Tie-breaker: 25-minute rapid Game One: D. Harika bt Nana Dzagnidze (Geo);Game Two: Dzagnidze drew with Harika.

Semifinal line-up: Harika v Tan Zhongyi (Chn); Anna Muzychuk (Ukr) v Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus).