World Women's Chess Championship: Humpy beats Tingjei Lei, in sight of last 16
Top-seeded Indian Grandmaster Koneru Humpy scored a fine positional victory over Tingjei Lei of China to close in on a pre-quarterfinals berth in the World Women's Chess Championship now underway here.
Sochi: Top-seeded Indian Grandmaster Koneru Humpy scored a fine positional victory over Tingjei Lei of China to close in on a pre-quarterfinals berth in the World Women's Chess Championship now underway here.
After two easy victories in the first match against Ayah Moaatz of Egypt, Humpy started off from where she had left and her technical prowess proved too much for the Lei.
The other Indian Grandmaster in fray, D Harika was held to a draw by Irina Krush of United States in a match of equals. In the return game now, Harika will be under pressure as she plays with black pieces.
Down to last 32 from 64 participants, caution was the name of the game in the first round and as many as 11 games out of 16 ended in draws. Besides Humpy, Viktorija Cmilyte of Lithuania and the Russian trio of Alexandra Kosteniuk, Valentina Gunina and Alisa Galiamova were the other four winners while the rest will start the second game of the second round on equal score.
The championship this year is a knockout contest with two games in each round. In case of a tied result, games of shorter duration are played to determine the winner.
The third Indian qualifier, Mary Ann Gomes bowed out of the competition in the first round when she lost the Armageddon game against Tatiana Kosintseva of Russia.
Humpy's victory came with black pieces which means the Indian will need just a draw in the return game to go through to the next round. Up against the Catalan opening by Lei, the Indian equalised with dynamics still in place when the middle game arrived and then it was a slow grind by Humpy.
Lei lost a pawn on the 25th move but still had counter
play in form of her active rook and knight. However, Humpy calculated precisely when it mattered and romped home after 67 moves.
Harika went for the King pawn opening as white and it's clear that the Indian is trying to add to her present repertoire.
It was a Sicilian Kann by Krush and the American did not face many difficulties in maintaining the balance after the trade of queens early in the middle game. Further exchanges led to a level rook and minor piece endgame and both players did not find any reason continue after a mere 28 moves.
In other decisive games of the day, Kosteniuk was impressive in her victory over Shen Yang of China while Alisa Galliamova's experience came good against compatriot Kosintseva.
Complete results round 2 game 1: Tingjie Lei (Chn) lost to Koneru Humpy (Ind); Wenjun Ju (Chn) drew with Natalija Pogonina (Rus); Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus) drew with Anna Muzychuk (Ukr); Viktorija Cmilyte (Ltu) beat Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Rus); Shen Yang (Chn) lost to Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus); Valentina Gunina (Rus) beat Olga Girya (Rus); Salome Melia (Geo) drew with Zhao Xue (Chn); Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr) drew with Monika Socko (Pol); Inna Gaponenko (Ukr) drew with Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul); Bela Khotenashvili (Geo) drew with Huang Qian (Chn); Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (Sco) drew with Pia Cramling (Swe); D Harika (Ind) drew with Irina Krush (Usa); Meri Arabidze (Geo) drew with Yaniet Marrero Lopez (Cub); Zhongyi Tan (Chn) drew with Lela Javakhishvili (Geo); Marie Sebag (Fra) drew with Anna Ushenina (Ukr); Alisa Galliamova (Rus) beat Tatiana Kosintseva (Rus).