World Rapid Chess: Savitha Shri storms into joint lead in women’s event

Almaty, Dec 27 (PTI) Teenaged Indian player B Savitha Shri came up with a fine performance to jump into the joint lead with Zhongyi Tan (China) and Aleksandra Goryachkina with 6.5 points after the eighth round in the women’s event of the FIDE World Rapid Chess Championships here on Tuesday.

The 15-year old Savitha Shri who was on 2.5 points (two wins, a draw and a loss) was the star of the day, posting four consecutive wins to join Tan and Goryachkina at the top.

The Indian player began the day with a win over lower-rated Zarina Nurgaliyeva (Kazakhstan) before pulling off victories over higher-rated Iranian Sarasadat Khademalshareieh, Antonaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) and Bela Khotenashvili (Georgia).

Meanwhile, India’s top player and No.7 seed Koneru Humpy overcame a loss to Armenia’s Elina Danielian in the first match of the day to pick up 2.5 points from the next three rounds with a couple of wins to take her tally to 6.

It was a modest day for the other Indian women as D Harika (seeded six) could score only one win on the day to be in 36th spot while Padmini Rout (33rd) and Tania Sachdev (52nd) continued to struggle after eight rounds.

In the open section, young Indian GM Arjun Erigaisi after four wins on day one, had mixed fortunes. He posted two victories, including impressive ones over France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Anish Giri in rounds nine and seven respectively while going down to Vladimir Fedoseev and young German Vincent Keymer.

Erigaisi is on 6.5 points and in joint third with five others. Compatriot Nihal Sarin with six points is joint fourth.

World No.1 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) on 7.5 points is the lead, a half a point ahead of Fedoseev and three others – Keymer and Nodirbek Abdusattorov, the defending champion.

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (22nd seed), the highest rated Indian in the fray, is in 21st spot having scored five points while the experienced Surya Shekhar Ganguly with an equal number of points lies 23rd.

A total of 15 Indians are in the fray in the Open event while five are taking part in the women’s event.

The world Blitz championship will be held from December 30 after the 13-round Rapid tournament concludes on December 29.

Source: PTI News


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