Harika Dronavalli

Chengdu (China), July 9 (IANS) Indian Grand Master Harika Dronavalli recaptured the pole position at the Fide Women’s Grand Prix here on Saturday, outwitting compatriot Koneru Humpy after a long and gruelling battle.

The highly watched game dragged on into the evening, well after all other games had finished, lasting 5 hours. World No. 3 Humpy had no option but to concede defeat after 74 moves. Harika is now sitting pretty on 5 points. Three players, including Humpy, are right behind her, though, trailing by just half a point.

The young Hyderabadi was obviously thrilled with the victory despite the drain. “I got into a good position at the opening itself. I could either go for a win or settle for a draw at that stage,” Harika said. “I think I surprised her by opting for the former. I kept on pressing my advantage until I saw a winning end. I converted it to take home this point,” she added.

Harika agreed that her contests with Koneru always get extra attention but she insisted that there was nothing but healthy competition between the two. “She is a great player and it’s always a pleasure to play against her. We are two different individuals and instead of comparing us people should simply appreciate all that we are achieving,” she said.

The 25-year-old said that she wasn’t feeling tired at all despite going through such a tough and long game. She faces Stefanova Antoaneta of Bulgaria on Sunday while Koneru will take on former World No. 1 Pia Cramling of Sweden.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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