Asian Games chess: Harika gets bronze, Sasikaran disappoints

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GUANGZHOU - India’s Harika Dronavalli defeated Iran’s Sukandar Irine Kharisma in the final and ninth round to win bronze in the women’s individual chess at the Asian Games here Tuesday.

China’s Hou Yifan and Zhao Xue, both grand masters, claimed the gold and silver.

Top seed Hou won eight rounds and drew one to score 8.5 points. Zhao won seven matches, drew one and lost one to finish with 7.5 points. International Master Harika, with five wins, one loss and three draws, scored 6.5 points to come third.

In the men’s section, Krishnan Sasikaran, who was in sight of a medal overnight, lost both his matches Tuesday to toppled to ninth place with 5.5 points.

Harika, who was lying fourth Monday, split points with compatriot Tania Sachdev and then playing with black pieces, she defeated Sukandar in the ninth round to move to the third place.

Harika had drawn with Nguyen Pham Le Thao of Vietnam Monday in the seventh round to take her score to five points.

Her medal chances were high after she held the strongest woman player in the world, Hou in the sixth round, after beating Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran in the fifth.

Tania was also on five points overnight after seven rounds, following victories over Altanulzi Enkhtuul and Batchimeg Tuvshintugs of Mongolia in the last two rounds.

The two Indians after drawing their match Tuesday, were on 5.5 points.

But Tania lost to Hou in the last round Tuesday, to finish at sixth place with 5.5 points.

In the men’s individual section, Surya Sekhar Ganguly came fifth with six points, winning six matches and losing three while Sasikaran came ninth with four wins, three draws and two losses. Kasimdzhanov Rustam of Uzbekistan won gold while Vietnam’s Le Quang Liem returned with silver. China’s Bu Xiangzhi claimed the bronze.

Sasikaran was tied with two others after seven rounds, with 5.5 points, Monday. But he lost both his matches Tuesday to go out of medal contention.

The Indian grand master first went down to Quang Liem and then Xiangzhi.

Surya Sekhar won his eighth round in the morning beating So Wesley of the Philippines, but then lost to Kazakhstan’s Kazhgaleyev Murtas.

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