Chess: Women`s World C`ship enters final stage
Khanty Mansiysk (Russia): The Indian interest over after D Harika`s ouster, the World Women`s Chess Championship entered into its closing stage in which Ukraine`s Anna Ushenina will take on Anotaneta Stefanova for the top prize here.
The upsets continued as Ushenina made the finals at the expense of Ju Wenjun of China winning the first set of rapid tie-break games that concluded here.
After drawing two back-to-back normal time control games rather quickly, Ushenina struck with her white pieces in the first game of rapid tiebreaker and then drew the next to make it to the finals of the USD 4,50,000 championship.
Stefanova will now fight it out with Ushenina for the ultimate crown in a four games match that commences on Tueaday.
Stefanova had beaten Harika in the other semifinal that lasted just two games. Harika had lost the first and drawn the second to bow out of the championship with a bronze medal.
At the award ceremony Harika thanked everyone involved to help her get to the semifinal stage.
"I am very grateful for the support from my friends, parents, grandmother, my trainer, who teaches me since my childhood. We were in touch during the whole championship. Grandmaster Eesha Karavade sent me her opening analysis.
"Grandmaster Ganguly participated in one of my training sessions prior to the championship. Grandmaster Harikrishna also helped me to prepare for some games," said the semifinalist.
After the ouster of top-rated Indian Koneru Humpy as early as in round two, all eyes were on Harika as she was playing quite well in the grueling schedule.
Harika thought she should have done better when asked about what she felt about her achievement.
"My friends have mixed opinions. Everyone is happy for me, but they are also a bit disappointed, because I did not advance to the final, which I feel was possible," said Harika.
Citing tiredness as the main reason, Harika insisted that she had not lost focus.
"Cannot say I lost my focus, I just felt a bit tired. Maybe this is why I lost the first game to Stefanova."
The championship now enters the final stage where there will be four games in all. In case of a tie, shorter games will be played to determine the champion who in 2013 will play a match with Yifan Hou of China.