In a spectacular display of chess prowess, Divya Deshmukh emerged as the frontrunner on Day 2 of the Tata Steel Chess India rapid tournament. With a perfect score in all three rounds on Friday, she now stands as the sole leader with 5.5 points. Following closely behind is reigning world champion GM Ju Wenjun from China with 4 points, while Russian IM Polina Shuvalova holds 3.5 points.
IM Deshmukh, playing with the white pieces, initiated her winning streak by defeating American GM Irina Krush with a masterful display of piece coordination. She continued her impressive run, securing victories against Savitha Shri and IM Vantika Agarwal. In her final match, Deshmukh maintained control and secured another win after Agarwal committed a critical queen blunder.
Unfortunately, Agarwal faced a challenging day, losing all her games to Wenjun and Krush. GM Nino Batsiashvili also suffered defeats in all her matches, succumbing to Shri, defending rapid champion Anna Ushenina, and Humpy, who skillfully exploited her advanced pawns.
Humpy had a mixed day, losing to Shuvalova in the fourth round but managing to secure a draw against GM Harika Dronavalli. Despite coming close to defeating Wenjun, Harika couldn’t capitalize on her advantage, settling for a draw against the Chinese grandmaster.
Re-reported from the article originally published in Hindustan Times