Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli won a complex game against Spain’s Sabrina Vega Gutierrez and drew against local favourite Matthieu Cornette on day five of the prestigious 14th Anatoly Karpov Rapid International Chess Tournament.
In her earlier battles too with the same players, the Guntur lass had beaten Vega Gutierrez and could only manage a draw against Cornette. She has played 10 games so far and has kept herself in contention by picking up crucial points.
“In the first game, I found myself in an unclear set-up. My opponent Sabrina opened her game with French defence and I had to take some risks in the complex battle. I won a pawn in the middle game and outplayed her slowly. I was finally able to convert it into a point later on.
“In the second game, I opened with white pieces but made a mistake in the opening and found myself in an uncomfortable position. So when I got the opportunity at the midway stage, I repeated my moves and forced a draw,” Harika said.
With four more games to go in the tournament, Harika is confident of qualifying for the knockout stages. She is positioned fifth in the tournament.
Harika next takes on Ukrainian World No. 3 and fifth seeded in the tournament Anna Muzychuk and fourth seeded French Grand Master Romain Edouard.