World Chess C’ship: Harika runs out of time, loses marathon semifinal
Chinese girl Tan Zhongyi was declared “won-on-time” against D. Harika after 99 moves of their decisive battle in the Women World chess championship semifinal here on Saturday.
RAKESH RAO | TEHRAN
25 FEBRUARY, 2017 22:47 IST
In a dramatic finish, Chinese girl Tan Zhongyi was declared “won-on-time” against D. Harika after 99 moves of their decisive battle in the Women World chess championship semifinal here on Saturday.
Zhongyi will meet second seeded Ukrainian Anna Muzychuk in the four-game final beginning on Monday.
Harika settled for a bronze for the third time in the championship, her effort being worth $20,000.
After the two players won from the white side in the two classical games, two 25-minute rapid games and the two 10-minute rapid games, both 5-minute blitz games were also drawn.
With the score tied at 4-4, the match went into the tie-deciding battle, called the Armageddon game. Here, Harika had five minutes on the clock to four minutes for Zhongyi, with a three-second increment added for every move made after the 61st turn. Since Zhongyi played black with a minute less on the clock, a draw would have helped her advance while Harika needed to win.
Harika briefly attained a better position but it was not good enough to force the issue. Zhongyi battled all the way and frustrated the fourth seeded Indian who eventually ran out of time in a seemingly interior position.
The day started well for Harika as she won the first of the 25-minute rapid games in just 17 moves spread over 35 minutes. But thereafter, it was Zhongyi turn to level the score with black pieces in 73 moves.
In the 10-minute rapid games that followed, Zhongyi started by playing white and carried on with her winning momentum to take the lead in 60 moves.
Facing a must-win situation, much like she did on Friday, Harika ran into some stubborn resistance from the Chinese. Soon into the middle game, Harika had to trade her queen for a rook and a knight. Though Zhongyi looked in good position to force a draw, a series of poor moves from her helped Harika’s cause and she eventually restored parity following a sensational 79-move victory.
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