ISLE IOF MAN: Indian Grand Master Harika Dronavalli suffered a defeat against French Grand Master Laurent Fressinet after toiling it out for a massive 76 moves in the fourth round of the Isle of Man International Chess Tournament here.
Both players were wary of each other's attacking prowess during the game late here on Tuesday night and were hesitant to open up in the initial stages.
The World No.10 Indian, playing with black pieces, tried to put her opponent under pressure. But Laurent was at his defensive best and evaded the situations tactfully to turn the tables and pile on the pressure on Harika.
"I tried to put him under pressure but my opponent slowly outplayed my moves," Harika said.
Although she had an opportunity to draw the game on the 31st move, she was forced to manoeuvre to a different position which opened up the gates and put her under immense pressure in the marathon game.
"I had a good chance to sign a truce on move 31 but I missed a tactical shot which would have led to a direct draw and after that I tried hard to save the game but could not do so after a really long game," Harika conceded.
After the end of four rounds, Harika has lost just one game, drawn one and won two to be tied at third place in this formidable field of 160 players.
The young woman from Guntur will take on Hungarian FM and WGM and a proponent of French defence, Anna Rudolf, for her fifth-round encounter looking to bounce back from her loss.