Harika clinches maiden title


Harika drew her game against WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy to take the top honours with 8.5 points.

In the 11th and final round on Saturday, WGM Meenakshi, who was in the sole lead till the penultimate round, was facing WGM Mary Ann Gomes with the white pieces.
As her tiebreak score was low, Meenakshi had to win to have a sniff of the championship title.

From an English opening, she threw caution to the winds and went for an allout attack against Mary’s king, weakening her own king in the process. Mary was quick to get her own counterattack going and Meenakshi lost her way to lose the game in 35 moves. Meenakshi emerged runner-up with eight points.
On the second table, Harika was playing black against WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy. In a closed Guicco Piano set up, Aarthie sacrificed a piece to create an attack against Harika’s king.

Harika defended the attack well and was consolidating her extra piece. But when things were heating up the players drew the game seeing the top board results. Harika offered the draw to Aarthie which was accepted on the 33rd move.
WGM Esha Karvade drew her game quickly in 19 moves to confirm her berth in the top six, while IM Tania Sachdev outplayed WGM Nisha Mohota in a Nimzo Indian game in 43 moves.


Results (Round 11): WGM Meenakshi S (Air India) 8 lt to WGM Gomes Mary Ann (WB) 7; WGM R Aarthie (AI) 6 drew IM Harika Dronavalli (AP) 8.5; WGM Karavade Eesha (Mah) 7 drew WIM Priya P (TN) 6.5; WIM Kiran Manisha Mohanty (Ori) 7.5 bt WGM Soumya Swaminathan (Mah) 5.5; WGM Mohota Nisha (PSPB) 5.5 lt to IM Tania Sachdev (AI) 7; Amrutha Mokal (Mah) 5 lt to CM Bhakti Kulkarni (Goa) 6.5; Sithalatchumi A (TN) 5.5  drew Bharathi R (TN) 5.5; WFM Swati Mohota (WB) 5.5 drew WFM Bindu Saritha K (LIC) 5.5; Saranya J (TN) 5 bt WIM Meera Sai (IB) 4.5; WFM Pon N Krithika (TN) 5.5 bt Roy Pallabi (WB) 4; A Akshaya (TN) 3.5 lt to Supriya Maji (WB) 5.

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