Grandmaster D Harika will lock horns with Zhao Xue of China in the quarter-finals of the World Women's Chess Championship in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia.
Having reached the last eight stage, Harika meets the biggest challenge in the championship and if she wins this match she can prove to be a very tough competitor for the other opponents.
The match against Xue will test her real skills, as the Chinese is also the highest rated player remaining in the championship.
Harika spent the day preparing against Zhao Xue and looked determined while the tie-breaker of the third round was played in the main hall. This is already the second time in a row that the Indian has reached the quarter-final stage.
In 2010, she lost to Ruofan Li of China.
The heat rose on the chess board even as the mercury plummeted to minus 17 degrees celsius in the Ugra region. The most intense battle was fought by the Kosintseva sisters who were pitted against each other in the third round match.
After drawing two games under normal time control both Nadezhda and Tatiana shared a victory each in the rapid games. In the subsequent ten-minute tie-breaker, Nadezhda won from a difficult position in the middle game and then held on to win the match.
In other tie-break matches, it was China all the way as Ju Wenjun ousted Natalia Zhukova of Ukraine and Huang Qian showed Irina Krush the exit door in the rapid games itself.
The US $450,000 Championship is now down to eight players from 64 in the first round. The winner here will get to play a match with Yifan Hou of China in 2013 to decide the next World champion.
Big names of the game have exited the championship already. The top three seeds -- Koneru Humpy, Yifan Hou and Anna Muzychuk -- packed their bags after the second round and fifth seed Kateryna Lahno faced a similar situation too.
Complete results round three game 2: Antoaneta Stefanova beat Monika Socko (Pol) 2-0; Natalia Zhukova lost to Ju Wenjun (Chn) 1-1, 0.5-1.5; Natalia Pogonina (Rus) lost to Anna Ushenina (Ukr) 0.5-1.5; Zhao Xue (Chn) beat Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr) 1.5-0.5; D Harika beat Lela Javakhishvili (Geo) 1.5-0.5;Tatiana Kosintseva (Rus) lost to Nadezhda Kosintseva (Rus) 1-1, 1-1, 0.5-1.5; Irina Krush (Usa) lost to Huang Qian (Chn) 1-1, 0.5-1.5; Marie Sebag beat Alisa Galliamova (Rus) 2-0.