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Harika youngest Asian WIM

Panaji: Dronavalli Harika bettered Grandmaster Koneru Humpy’s record and became the youngest-ever Asian to win the Woman International Master (WIM) title after winning her 10th round game against Tana Halusova of Czech Republic in the world junior chess Tuesday.

Harika’s achievement capped a memorable day for Indian chess after Aarthie Ramaswamy became India’s third Woman Grandmaster (WGM) in Hungary, according to information received Tuesday.

Up against a rare variation of the Nimziwitch defence, Harika, playing white, got a slight advantage as Halusova made a few middle game inaccuracies and won a pawn through a tactical stroke. A few quick exchanges thereafter ensured a winning endgame and Harika wrapped the issue in 43 moves.

Meanwhile, defending champion Humpy missed out an opportunity to join Zhao Xue of China at the top when she drew with Ana Calotescu of Romania. Xue leads with 8 points, followed by Humpy and Nadezhda Kosintseva of Russia with 7.5 points apiece.

Anand downs Russian GM

In boys’ section, S. Poobesh Anand continued his dream run, crushing Grandmaster Ernesto Inarkiev of Russia in the tenth round Tuesday.

Luke McShane (7.5) of England shot into sole lead with a swift victory over Russian GM Dimitry Jakovenko. Seven players — Indians P. Harikrishna, Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Poobesh, Ferenc Berkes of Hungary, Levon Aronian of Armenia, R. Wojtaszek of Poland, Timofeev Artyom of Russia and — follow in the second spot with seven points each. (PTI)

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