Grandmaster D. Harika moved into the last-eight stage of the world women’s chess championship after beating Lela Javakhishvili of Georgia in the second game of the third round.

After drawing the first game with black, Harika played to her strengths and outwitted Javakhishvili. The 1.5-0.5 victory also helped Harika gain some rating points. Playing the white side of a Catalan opening, Harika traded queens early and created a weakness on the king side. Javakhishvili could have defended better but she lost composure to lose a pawn without much compensation.

Guiding her pieces properly, Harika seized control and dominated the board with a skilful display.

In the quarterfinals, Harika meets the biggest challenge in the championship, Zhao Xue of China, and if she wins this match she can prove to be a very tough competitor for the other opponents. The match against Xue will test her real skills as the Chinese is also the highest rated player remaining in the championship. — PTI

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