Free Press Journal

Humpy in prequarters of World Women Chess


Koneru Humpy

Sochi (Russia): Indian Grandmaster Koneru Humpy made it to the last 16 stage of the world women chess championship outplaying Chinese Tingjie Lei in the second game of the second round here today. Going in to the return game of the second round of this knockout championship with a point lead thanks to her victory in the opening game, Humpy won her fourth game on the trot to also keep a clean slate in the championship thus far. Grandmaster D Harika was stretched to the tiebreaker by her American counterpart Irina Krush after the second game between them also ended in a draw. Harika will now play a set of two rapid games with 25 minutes each to determine the winner in this contest.

In the event of a further tied result, two blitz games with 10 minutes each will be played and if necessary two more blitz games with 5 minutes each and a three seconds increment will be played. Should the deadlock continue, the players will play one Armageddon game with five minutes for white and four to black and black will proceed to the next round in case of a draw. It may be recalled that the third Indian in the fray – Mary Ann Gomes was ousted from the championship losing the Armageddon game against Tatiana Kosintseva of Russia in the first round.

After a relative lull that provided just five decisive games out of a possible 16 in the first game of the second round, as many as eight decisive games were played in the second game of this round. The biggest causalty of the round was second seed Wenjun Ju of China who was shown the exit door by experienced Natalija Pogonina of Russia.  Humpy proved a class act once again. Playing the white

side of a Grunfeld defense, the Indian went for the Fianchetto variation that is in vogue. The position oscillated between equal and slightly better for Humpy and the exchange of pieces did not deter her to push for a decisive advantage. The tide tilted firmly in Humpy’s favour when Lei missed the thread and lost pawn on move 30, although the Chinese was able to recover the lost material a few moves later the resulting Knights and pawns endgame was completely lost. Humpy wrapped the issue in 42 moves to set up her next match against Alisa Galliamova of Russia who got past Tatiana Kosintseva.

Harika came within striking distance but could not convert a difficult but better position against Irina Krush. It was an English opening by the latter that gave Harika enough play in the middle game to knock down a pawn. The ensuing position had Bishops of opposite colours on
board and though she remained better for the rest of the game too, Harika could not force matters and will now play the tiebreak games. In other interesting battles of the day, former world

champion Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia prevailed over Shen Yang Yang of China by drawing the second game while another former champion Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria was pushed to the tiebreaker by Inna Gaponenko of Ukraine. Complete results round 2 (after game 2): Koneru, Humpy (Ind) beat Tingjie Lei (Chn) 2-0; Natalija Pogonina (Rus) beat Wenjun Ju (Chn); 1.5-0.5; Anna Muzychuk (Ukr) beat Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus) 1.5-0.5; Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Rus) lost to Viktorija Cmilyte (Ltu) 0.5-1.5; Alezandra Kosteniuk (Rus)

drew with Shen Yang (Chn) 1.5-0.5; Olga Girya (Rus) lost to Valentina Gunina (Rus) 0-2; Zhao Xue (Chn) beat Salome Melia (Geo) 1.5-0.5; Monika Socko (Pol) drew with Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr) 1-1 goes to tiebreak; Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul) drew with Inna Gaponenko (Ukr) 1-1 goes to tiebreak; Huang Qian (Chn) drew with Bela Khotenashvili (Geo) 1-1 goes to tiebreak; Pia Cramling (Swe) beat Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (Sco)1.5-0.5; Irina Krush (Usa) drew with D Harika (Ind) 1-1 goes to tiebreak; Yaniet Marrero Lopez (Cub) lost to Meri Arabidze (Geo) 0.5-1.5; Lela Javakhishvili (Geo) beat Zhongyi Tan (Chn); Anna Ushenina (Ukr) drew with Marie Sebag (Fra) 1-1 goes to tiebreak; Tatiana Kosintseva (Rus) lost to Alisa Galliamova (Rus) 0.5-1.5.