Harika starts with draw in FIDE Women's Grand Prix
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: India's number two Dronavalli Harika started her campaign in the FIDE Women's Grand Prix here with a draw against Swedish veteran Pia Cramling in the first round.
The strong tournament featuring 12 players including world champion Ju Wenjun (China) is the third in the series of four Grands Prix from which two with the highest points tally would qualify for the next candidates event.
India's world No.2 Koneru Humpy leads the Grand Prix standings after two events with 293 points while Grandmaster Harika is joint fifth with Wenjun (120 points, 1 event).
On a day of draws, the 29-year old Harika, the world No.9, held the former world number from Sweden to a draw in 37 moves late on Monday.
Wenjun is the highest rated player in the event while Harika is the fifth-seed. The Chinese world champion shared the point with Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan, who came in as a replacement for Zhao Xue.
In another game, the Muzychuk sisters from Ukraine-Mariya and Anna, signed the peace treaty in just 16 moves.
Harika meets Frenchwoman Marie Sebag in the second round later on Tuesday.
Results: Round 1: Alexandra Goryachkina (RUS) drew with Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS); Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) drew with Nana Dzagnidze (GEO); Ju Wenjun (CHN) drew with Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ); D Harika (IND) drew with Pia Cramling (SWE); Anotaneta Stefanova (BUL) drew with Marie Sebag (FRA); Anna Muzychuk (UKR) drew with Mariya Muzychuk (UKR).