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Harika in joint lead

Kozhikode: Dronavalli Harika maintained her winning form and moved into joint lead with China’s Gu Xiaobing after the third round of the 10th Asian women’s chess championship here on Tuesday.

Harika, who stunned second seed Zhao Xue of China in the previous round, beat China’s Tian Tian to tally three points. Xiaobing, on equal points, upset defending champion Le Ruofan.

Following the duo are Koneru Humpy, Aarthie Ramaswamy, Ruan Lufei, Xu Yuanyuan and Wang Yu on 2.5 points apiece.

There was more good news in store for the Indian camp as Aarthie defeated third seed Wang Pin of China.

Harika played the queen’s gambit against accepted variation by Tian Tian. Harika’s game gained momentum after Tian lost her queen on the 28th move. The Chinese resigned after 32 moves.

Top seed Humpy, who is yet to play to her true potential, managed to gain a point against Kazakhstan’s Maria Sergeeva on the third board. The Kazakh gave up after 115 moves.

The match between sisters S. Vijayalakshmi and S. Meenakshi turned out to be a tame affair after they agreed to a draw after just seven moves.

Seventh seed Wang Yu of China overcame Safira Shahnaz in 54 moves. Shahnaz, who engaged the Sicilian defence, completely lost control of the game.

Second seeded Zhao Xue of China beat Bhagyashree Thipsay while fourth seed Hoang Thanh Trang of Vietnam defeated Tania Sachdev.

Sri Lanka’s Vineetha Wijesuriya recorded her first win of the tournament on Tuesday as she overcame K. Lakshmi Praneetha. For Bangladesh’s Parveen Syeda Shabana it was another disappointing day when she lost her third consecutive game.

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