Hatay: Former world junior girls`
champion D Harika was eliminated from the World Chess
Championship after losing to Chinese Ruan Lufei in the rapid
tiebreak games of the pre-quarterfinals here.
After putting up her best ever effort in the World
Women`s championship, the pressure eventually got to the
Andhra-based Grandmaster. The Indian lost the first game with
white pieces in the first game of rapid and her quest for a
comeback in the return game did not materialise as Lufei
managed a draw to make it to the semifinals.
Grandmasters Koneru Humpy and the Chinese duo of Yifan
Hao and Zhao Xue were already in the semifinals in the
classical games and the inclusion of Lufei means that one of
the last-four clashes will be an all-Chinese affair.
For her efforts in the championship, Harika won USD 12000
out of which 20 per cent will go to the World Chess
Playing white in the first game Harika faced the Slav
defense and had a small edge in the middle game thanks to her
Bishop pair. As the game took a tactical shape, Lufei was the
first to strike and won a rook for knight.
The technicalities remained but the Chinese player
was determined to calculate everything in quick time. Harika
resigned after black promoted one of the pawns to a queen.
In the second game, Harika needed a victory to force
further tiebreak games, but this time again, Lufei did not
give many chances from a Pirc defense game. Harika faced some
complications but they did not prove enough and after
subsequent exchanges, the players reached a Knight and pawns
endgame in which there was no chance for a decisive result.
Humpy will meet Yifan Hao in the semifinal while Lufei
will take on compatriot Xue in the other last-four clash.