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Harika survives scare; Padmini in Rd 2 of World Chess C’ship

Tehran, Feb 13:

Fourth-seeded Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika survived a scare before settling for a second straight draw with Shamima Akter Liza of Bangladesh in the first round of the World Women’s Chess Championship here.
Padmini Rout, on the other hand, crashed through the defences of Elina Danielian of Armenia to reach the second round after the end of the second game.
On what turned out to be a bad day in office, Harika yet again failed to find her rhythm against Shamima who is rated more than 400 points below the Indian.
Having drawn the first game with black, Harika was expected to win in the return game but the Bangladeshi player simply did not give in.
After landing in a clearly inferior position, Harika somehow managed to stay afloat as her opponent decided to make a draw and the two will now fight it out in the tiebreak games of shorter duration.
Padmini is ranked 40th in the 64-players competition but that did not deter her from causing an upset victory over Danielian, ranked 25th. Padmini was at her attacking best out of a Caro Kann defense game as white and the Advanced variation gave her a tangible advantage in the early middle game.
Danielian miscalculated while conducting a difficult defense and the killer blow from Harika came in the form of keeping a rook en prise on the 28th move. Danielian resigned immediately and will have to head back home from the 450000 USD knockout championship. (PTI)


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