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World Women Chess Championship: D Harika signs peace treaty in first game

Indian Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika drew her first game of the semifinal against Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine in the World Women Chess Championship that concluded here on Monday.

World Women Chess Championship: D Harika signs peace treaty in first game

Sochi: Indian Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika drew her first game of the semifinal against Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine in the World Women Chess Championship that concluded here on Monday.

Harika, playing with black, responded with a rare variation against Muzychuk's Scotch game, and it quickly took her opponent out of her preparation in a couple of moves and the players started to explore an unknown territory.

The queens were exchanged, and a complicated ending arose with white having a spatial advantage. In order to complete the development, Harika traded her bishop for a knight, which gave chance to Muzychuk to obtain more significant advantage in an open position.

However, Muzychuk selected a different move, which looked more active, but Harika grabbed the chance to make counter attacks. With a timely pawn sacrifice Harika created a strong passed pawn, forcing further simplications and a draw.

Meanwhile Pia Cramling of Sweden drew first blood in the other semifinal as she overcame local favourite Natalia Pogonina. Cramling and Pogonina went for a popular line of the Queen's Gambit declined opening.

White's slight pressure did not evaporate even after most pieces were exchanged. Black's position remained passive.

Pogonina missed the best moment for trading minor pieces, and later had to do this trade under less favourable circumstances. The Swedish patiently improved her position and slowly loosened Black's defence. Following a well prepared pawn break in the center, the white king penetrated Black's camp and secured decisive material gains.

Results round 5 game 1: Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr) drew with D Harika (Ind); Pia Cramling (Swe) beat Natalija Pogonina (Rus).  

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