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Tata Steel India 2023 Women Blitz R1-9: Harika and Wenjun are the coleaders

by Shahid Ahmed - 03/09/2023

GM Harika Dronavalli and GM Wenjun Ju (CHN) are the coleaders 6.5/9 of Tata Steel Chess India 2023 Women Blitz. Harika made her intentions clear from the very get go when she grinded an equal rook endgame until her opponent, yesterday's winner, IM Divya Deshmukh crumbled. It was the longest game of the day which lasted 137 moves. Harika's sole loss of the day was against GM Koneru Humpy. The reigning four-time Women's World Champion started with a draw against Humpy. She won the next three games before losing two in-a-row against IM Polina Shuvalova and Harika. Then she won the next three to share the lead. Humpy and Divya are in pursuit at 5/9 each. Who will become the champion? The last nine rounds of Blitz will be played tomorrow, starting from 2 p.m. IST. Photos: IA Vivek Sohani/Tata Steel Chess India

Humpy and Divya in pursuit

It is said that Blitz games should not be analyzed for obvious reasons. However, we will take a quick look at some key moments and highlights.

GM Harika Dronavalli and GM Wenjun Ju (CHN) are the coleaders 6.5/9

Harika - Divya, Round 1

Position after 127.Kg5

It was clear that neither Harika nor Divya wanted to take a draw. Both players wanted to push for a win. White went 127.Kg5 and here Black needed to go 127...a5 128.bxa5 Ra6 129.Rd7+Kc4 to stay in the game. 127...Ke4 128.Rf7 Kf3?? 129.Rg7 and after a bit of back and forth play, White won the game.

GM Harika Dronavalli was determined to start with a win

Round 3: GM Harika Dronavalli won a back and forth game against WGM Savitha Shri B

Humpy- Harika, Round 5

Position after 27...Rad8

White already had a substantial advantage. 27...Rad8 accelerated Black's demise. Find out the winning continuation for White.

GM Koneru Humpy handed GM Harika Dronavalli her first and only loss of the day

Harika - Wenjun, Round 6

Position after 21...Bh6?

GM Wenjun Ju (CHN, 2536) made a positional error of misplacing her bishop at h6. Her opponent, GM Harika Dronavalli (2429) correctly seized her opportunity 22.Rb4 Rb8 23.Rh4 Bg7 24.Rxh7 and White outplayed her opponent to win the game.

GM Harika Dronavalli scored her first win over the reigning four-time Women's World Champion, GM Wenjun Ju (CHN) in a rated game in almost 3.5 years

WGM Savitha Shri B seized GM Anna Ushenina's (UKR) mistake and won the game

Humpy - Savitha, Round 7

Position after 51...Rc2?

52.Nd4 is what White needed to go. 52.Ne5? allowed Black to apply a nice trick! Find out what it is.

Just like last year, WGM Savitha Shri B once again beat GM Koneru Humpy with the black pieces

Ushenina - Divya

A beautiful finish - Final position after 29...Qc1+!

Reigning West Bengal State Under-7 champion - Sarbartho Mani made the ceremonial first move of the first round on Koneru Humpy and Wenjun Ju's board

The Arbiters' team (L to R): IAs Debasish Barua, Gopakumar Sudhakaran, Vipnesh Bhardwaj and Asit Baran Choudhury

Who will win the Tata SteelChess India Women Blitz 2023 trophy tomorrow?
Tata Steel Chess India 2023 Women Blitz | Round 1-9 Live commentary by GM Robert Hess (USA) and IM Soumya Swaminathan | Video:

Replay Blitz Round 1-9 games

Round 9 results

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMKoneru, Humpy1 - 0WGMDivya, Deshmukh
GMJu, Wenjun1 - 0GMUshenina, Anna
GMKrush, Irina1 - 0WIMSavitha, Shri B
IMVantika, Agrawal1 - 0GMBatsiashvili, Nino
IMShuvalova, Polina0 - 1GMDronavalli, Harika


Standings after Round 9

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
GMDronavalli, HarikaIND24296,50128,0052
GMJu, WenjunCHN25366,50025,0063
GMKoneru, HumpyIND246050124,2531
WGMDivya, DeshmukhIND223150018,0042
IMShuvalova, PolinaFID23064,50019,0032
GMKrush, IrinaUSA236740116,5021
WIMSavitha, Shri BIND217240016,7531
GMUshenina, AnnaUKR23613,50115,0021
IMVantika, AgrawalIND22673,50014,5021
GMBatsiashvili, NinoGEO22312,50010,5010


Round 10 pairings

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
WGMDivya, DeshmukhGMDronavalli, Harika
IMShuvalova, PolinaGMBatsiashvili, Nino
IMVantika, AgrawalWIMSavitha, Shri B
GMKrush, IrinaGMUshenina, Anna
GMJu, WenjunGMKoneru, Humpy



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