Tirana (Albania): Playing with black pieces, Grand Master Koneru Humpy played her second consecutive draw against defending champion Yifan Hou of China in the second game of the Women`s World Chess championship.
Having drawn the first game as white, Humpy ensured that the balance remained intact with another fine piece of preparation.
Interestingly, for the second day running, the Indian was calling the shots as Yifan was completely surprised in the opening and got nothing with her white pieces.
The score moved to 1-1 and with eight more games to come in the 200,000 Euros championship, Humpy appears to have taken the psychological advantage.
The third game will now be played on Wednesday.
It was a Petroff defense (also known as the Russian defense) by Humpy.
Yifan concede that she was not prepared for such tactics. "I didn`t expect Russian defense, so I did not prepare much for it," Yifan said in the post match conference.
The Chinese spent about eighteen minutes on the ninth move and went for the castling on opposite flanks. However, just a few moves later, Yifan went for the trading of queens which led to a completely equal endgame.
Further simplifications were eminent when Humpy rolled down her queenside passed pawns and the Indian gained an insignificant advantage too in the process. Yifan had to make a few correct moves to ensure parity and she did that without much ado. The game was drawn in 42 moves.
"It was totally equal, white did not get anything from the opening. So I went to the ending that is nothing for White but then I think I played not very well and gave the advantage to the opponent," Yifan admitted after the game.
Humpy was also of the opinion that there was not much for her.
"I was trying to press on the queenside but it was more or less equal," she said.
The Championship has taken its present - match-format - avatar after a gap of 12-years and according to experts this has been a perfect start for Humpy.
The Indian has been high on preparation and should the trend continue, 17 year old Yifan is likely to face more heat in the coming games.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 Qe8 9. O-O-O Qa4 10. Kb1 Nc6 11. h4 Be6 12. b3 Qa5 13. Nd4 Nxd4 14. cxd4 Qxd2 15. Rxd2 d5 16. h5 h6 17. Bd3 a5 18. a4 Bb4 19. Rdd1 Bc3 20. Rh4 c6 21. Bc1 Bd7 22. Bb2 Bb4 23. Ka2 Rfe8 24. Rhh1 b5 25. c3 Bf8 26. axb5 cxb5 27. Rde1 Bd6 28. Ba3 Rxe1 29. Rxe1 b4 30. Bb2 a4 31. bxa4 Bxa4 32. Kb1 bxc3 33. Bxc3 Rb8+ 34. Ka2 Ra8 35. Kb2 Kf8 36. Ra1 Rb8+ 37. Kc1 Bf4+ 38. Bd2 Rc8+ 39. Kb2 Rb8+ 40. Kc1 Rc8+ 41. Kb2 Rb8+ 42. Kc1 Rc8+ game drawn.