Harika stuns Howell

NEW DELHI: World junior girls champion D. Harika scored a stunning victory over British hope and second seed David Howell in 48 moves to share the fourth spot with Abhijeet Gupta after the 10th round of the Corus chess tournament at Wijk ann Zee, near Amsterdam, on Wednesday.

Harika’s commendable victory with black pieces took her aggregate to 5.5 points. Against Howell, Harika opened up the Ruy Lopez game from the queen’s side and seized the initiative. With Howell’s queen almost out of play, Harika’s queen caused havoc and cleaned up a number of kingside pawns. Once Harika pressed her bishop into service, Howell saw no point in continuing.

In another Group ‘C’ match, Abhijeet surprisingly surrendered to Russia’s Anish Giri to remain on 5.5 points. In the middle game of this Grunfeld game, Anish, a 14-year of Nepalese origin, managed to trade a rook for a bishop and a knight.

Abhijeet fought a losing battle until the 33rd move before resigning on the verge of getting checkmated. Thursday is a rest day.

K. Sasikiran (three points), the top seed in Group ‘B’, slumped to the last spot after suffering his fifth defeat. Playing with white pieces against Zahar Efimenko, Sasikiran gave up after 41 moves of Nimzo Indian.

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