Dronavalli Harika stuns world champion Ju Wenjun at FIDE Women's Grand Prix chess tournament

Dronavalli Harika off to a good start at the 3rd Women's Grand Prix tournament
Dronavalli Harika off to a good start at the 3rd Women's Grand Prix tournament

What's the story?

Indian Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika stunned world champion Ju Wenjun in the 3rd round match at the FIDE Women's Grand Prix chess tournament. With this win, Harika occupies the joint top spot in the tournament.

In case you didn't know...

The Women's FIDE Grand Prix Series 2019-2020 comprises of 4 Women's Grand Prix chess tournaments that are held over a two-year period, 2019 and 2020.

The first tournament was held in Skolkovo, Russia from 10th to 23rd September 2019 while the second tournament was held in Monaco from 2nd to 15th December last year.

The third tournament in the series is currently underway in Lausanne, Switzerland from 1st March to 14th March while the final tournament will be held in Sardinia, Italy from 2nd May to 15th May.

The top 2 players across the 4 Grand Prix Series qualify for the FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament to be held in the first half of 2021. India's Koneru Humpy currently leads the standings after the end of the first 2 Grand Prix tournaments.

The heart of the matter

India's Chess Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika has made a bright start at the 3rd Women's FIDE Grand Prix tournament being held in Lausanne, Switzerland. She stunned World Champion Ju Wenjun of China in a 3rd round match.

After having drawn her first 2 encounters at the tournament, Harika currently has 2 points in her kitty and shares the overall lead in the tournament with four other players.

Playing with white pieces in her 3rd round encounter, the Indian outwitted her Chinese opponent in 54 moves. In the previous 2 rounds, she had played out draws against Pia Cramling of Sweden and Marie Sebag of France with white and black pieces respectively.

Overall, there were 3 decisive games in the 3rd round, with Alina Kashlinskaya of Russia getting the better of her compatriot Alexandra Kosteniuk with black pieces and Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine defeating Marie Sebag with white pieces in the other games having a result.

Harika currently leads the tournament along with Kashlinskaya and Alexandra Goryachkina of Russia, Muzychuk and Nana Dzagnidze from Georgia.

What's next?

Harika will face Nana Dzagnidze in her 4th round encounter with black pieces. The Indian is currently tied in the 5th position after the completion of the first 2 Grand Prix tournaments and would be looking to improve her position in this tournament in order to qualify for the Candidates Tournament.

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Edited by Amar Anand
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