Asian Games: Harika, Humpy lose to Hou Yifan in successive rounds; Erigaisi, Gujrathi tied for third

Hangzhou, Sep 25 (IANS): Former World Champion Hou Yifan turned out to be a thorn in the side of Indian women chess players, beating both Dronavalli Harika and Koneru Humpy in successive rounds as the men player too continued to struggle in the Asian Games chess competition, here on Monday.

It was a disappointing day for both Humpy and Harika as they lost one game each and drew the other and they were placed 6th and seventh respectively at the end of the fourth round, with 2.5 points each.

At the end of four rounds, Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi was the only unbeaten Indian player though he was held for two draws. He was placed third with three points from two wins and two draws as Uzbekistan's Nodribek Abdusattorov led the standings with 3.5 points from a possible four, the same as top seed Wei Yi of China. Erigaisi was sharing the third spot with four others but was placed third with a better tiebreak score.

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, the other Indian in the Men's Individual section, recovered from his defeat in the second round on Sunday to win both his games in the third and fourth rounds and was thus tied on three points with Erigaisi.

With the chess competition being played in rapid format in individual sections, two rounds are held every day.

In the third round in the women's section on Monday, Harika played Yifan on the top board and suffered a defeat. The Chinese player is a multiple-time former World Champion and the second-highest-ranked player ever in women's chess history. Harika has played her many times.

Humpy also ran into a Chinese wall as she was held to a draw by Jiner Zhu despite having the advantage of playing with white pieces.

In the fourth round, Humpy played Yifan on the top board and lost to her old nemesis while Harika was held to a draw by Uzbekistan's Nilufar Yakubbaeva despite enjoying a rating advantage of more than 200 ELO (2232 to 2456).

In the men's section, Erigaisi defeated Vietnam's Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen while Gujrathi got the better of Thailand's lower-ranked Prin Laohawirapap.

In the fourth round, Erigaisi was held to a draw by Iran's Seyedmohammadamin Tabatabaei, who is rated 2577 while the Indian is 2675.

Gujrathi defeated Vietnam's le Tuan Minh to move up to three points from four matches.



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Title: Asian Games: Harika, Humpy lose to Hou Yifan in successive rounds; Erigaisi, Gujrathi tied for third

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