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WWCh 2018 Round 2 TB: Harika advances to Pre-Quarter Finals

by Shahid Ahmed - 09/11/2018

Harika defeated Bela Khotenashvili of Georgia 2.5-1.5 in round 2 to advance to the pre-quarter finals of the FIDE Women's World Championship. She got an early advantage in round 2.3 after Bela was unable to find a good square for her light squared bishop and eventually lost some more tempi. Despite getting a winning endgame, Harika was not willing to take any risks and settled for a draw after 75 moves. In the second tie-break, Bela blundered a bishop on the 31st move and never got a chance to make a comeback in the game. Harika will face former Women's World Champion, Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk in round 3. This report contains selected best games, photos and videos. Photo: Official site 

Harika bests Bela Khotenashvili and advances to round 3

FIDE Women's World Championship official logo | Photo: Official site

Harika and Bela repeated the same opening Caro-Kann Defence, they played in round 2.2. This time Bela had difficulty to find a good square for her light squared bishop and lost a few tempi because of it. Harika developed her pieces usually while Bela's pieces were cramped. The Indian GM sacrificed an exchange and eventually got a winning rook ending. Instead of trying hard, she played too safe and had to settle for a draw.

Harika's first missed opportunity. She played 54.Kg2 here. What was the better alternative?

Harika's second missed opportunity was an easy one. Can you find it? White to play.

Here is the entire game:

Harika won the second tie-break with black pieces quite easily | Photo: Official site

Harika opted for the Pirc Defence against which Khotenashvili seemed to have landed in uncharted territory. First she lost space and then blundered a bishop on move no.31/

Pogonina made a strong comeback against Zhu Jiner. After losing round 2.1, she bounced back and won the round 4-2 and advanced to round 3 | Photo: Official site

Pogonina played a miniature game in round 2.5 as the kid Zhu Jiner did not handle the KID well in 10 mins + 10 seconds time control.

Photo Gallery:

Kateryna Lagno (RUS) signs autograph for a fan after winning both of her tie-break matches against Hoang Thanh Trang (HUN) | Photo: Official site

Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) is delighted to advance to round 3 after defeating Shiqun Ni (CHN) in two straight tie-breakers | Photo: Official site

Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) defeated Ekaterina Atalik (TUR) 2.5-1.5 to join her sister in round 3 | Photo: Official site

Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova (UZB) defeated former Women's World Champion Tan Zhongyi (CHN) 2.5-1.5 to move to round 3 and join 15 other players | Photo: Official site

Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ) won against Zhao Xue (CHN) 3-1 to advance to round 3 | Photo: Official site

Harika's North Star, her grandmother | Photo: Official site

Video Gallery:

Live analysis in Hindi by ChessBase India's Hindi Chief Editor Niklesh Jain
Round 2 tie-break games live stream | Video: Official site

Results of round 2

 Ju Wenjun(CHN)1½-½ Krush Irina(USA)
 Zawadzka Jolanta(POL)1½-½ Koneru Humpy(IND)
 Lagno Kateryna(RUS)3-1 Hoang Thanh Trang(HUN)
 Bodnaruk Anastasia(RUS)0-2 Muzychuk Anna(UKR)
 Kosteniuk Alexandra(RUS)3-1 Ni Shiqun(CHN)
 Galliamova Alisa(RUS)2-0 Goryachkina Aleksandra(RUS)
 Muzychuk Mariya(UKR)2½-1½ Atalik Ekaterina(TUR)
 Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim(UZB)2½-1½ Tan Zhongyi(CHN)
 Gunina Valentina(RUS)1½-½ Ushenina Anna(UKR)
 Socko Monika(POL)0-2 Alinasab Mobina(IRI)
 Dzagnidze Nana(GEO)½-1½ Lei Tingjie(CHN)
 Khotenashvili Bela(GEO)1½-2½ Harika Dronavalli(IND)
 Stefanova Antoaneta(BUL)2½-1½ Saduakassova Dinara(KAZ)
 Zhu Jineer(CHN)2-4 Pogonina Natalija(RUS)
 Abdumalik Zhansaya(KAZ)3-1 Zhao Xue(CHN)
 Zhai Mo(CHN)2-0 Batsiashvili Nino(GEO)


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