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Women's Speed Chess Championship: Harika Stuns Lagno In Semifinal Thriller

Women's Speed Chess Championship: Harika Stuns Lagno In Semifinal Thriller

PeterDoggers
| 7 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Harika Dronavalli on Thursday eliminated GM Kateryna Lagno from the FIDE Chess.com Women's Speed Chess Championship. In a thriller of a match, everything was decided in the third bullet game of the tiebreak.

Lagno, the top seed in the event, earned $5,000 for finishing in third-fourth place. We'll soon know which Chinese opponent Harika will play in Saturday's final. The other semifinal, between GM Lei Tingjie and GM Hou Yifan, is played on Friday, July 2, at 4:30 a.m. Pacific / 13:30 Central Europe.

The live broadcast of the match.

The match was incredibly close in both the 5|1 and 3|1 segments: the score was still equal after 14 games. It was Harika who went into the bullet phase with a one-point lead as she won the last 3|1 game convincingly:

The match was suddenly really going Harika's way when she also won the first two bullet games. The score was 10-7, but then Lagno came back with three straight wins to level the score!

After another win for Harika and another for Lagno, the Russian player had a small chance to win the final bullet game but as it turned out, her extra pawn wasn't worth much:

"I think I made a huge mistake in the last game, that I didn't continue to play it," said Lagno. "I had to play it. I was a pawn up and somehow I started to repeat the moves, and I couldn't stop! Here I lost, I think, my good chance to win. But OK, I think today Harika was better than me."

Both players won a game with the black pieces in that tiebreak before a draw in game three. It was in that game where Lagno missed a real chance:

It was game, set, and match for Harika when she won the fourth:

Harika admitted that Lagno had at least one winning position in the tiebreak. "I think that was the crucial moment, once I could save that position." She added: "It was a very tough match. Any moment it could have gone either way. I'm just happy it worked today for me."

All games

2021 Women's Speed Chess Championship results
The FIDE Chess.com 2021 Women's Speed Chess Championship is an online competition for titled female players. The qualifiers for the event were held May 28-June 6, while the main event runs June 10-July 3. Players battle for their shares of a total prize fund of $66,000.


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