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Harika survives

Khanty Mansiysk (Russia), Nov 21, 2012, PTI: 22:26 IST
Grandmaster D Harika survived by the skin of her teeth benefiting from a big blunder in a lost position against Zhao Xue of China in the return game of the quarterfinals of the World Women’s chess championship here.

After drawing the first round, Harika played with white and missed serious tactical chances which came in the early stages of the middle game and thereafter could not compete on level terms with the Chinese player.

However, a late blunder by Zhao in a completely winning position allowed Harika to escape with a draw through perpetual checks.

Anna Ushenina of Ukraine made it to the semifinals defeating fancied Nadezhda Kosintseva of Russia in the second game. Ushenina won by 1.5-0.5.

Harika remains in the championship as the last Indian in the fray since the ouster of top rated Koneru Humpy in the first round.

In the other tension-filled second game of the quarters, Antoaneta Stefanova pulled one back against Marie Sebag of France to force the mini-match into a tiebreaker to be played on Thursday.

The USD 4,50,000 prize money tournament will have three matches under tiebreak rules to decide two remaining berths for the semifinal ahead. To start with there will be two rapid games with 25 minutes each and if scores are still level two ten minutes games will be played.

Should the deadlock continue, there will be two five minutes game and if the tie is still not resolved, an Armageddon game will be played in which white must win to survive.

Results (Quarterfinals ) Game Two: Huang Qian (Chn, 1) drew with Ju Wenjun (Chn, 1) goes to tiebreak; D Harika (Ind, 1) drew with Zhao Xue (Chn, 1) goes to tiebreak; Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul, 1) bt marie Sebag (Fra, 1) goes to tiebreak; Anna Ushenina (Ukr, 1.5) bt Nadezhda Kosintseva (Rus, 0.5.

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