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Rediff.com  » Sports » Humpy, Vijayalakshmi in second round

Humpy, Vijayalakshmi in second round

March 13, 2006 00:23 IST

Grandmaster Koneru Humpy gave yet another fine display to beat Woman Grandmaster Tuduetso Sabure of Botswana 2-0 to march in to the second round of the World Women's chess championship in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

International Master S Vijayalakshmi was the other Indian to advance to the second round of the 64-players event being played on a knockout basis after she drew with Irina Berezina of Australia.

Other Indian in the fray, S Meenakshi bowed out of the event following her second successive loss against Russian talent Tatiana Kosintseva in the USD 450000 championship that carries the winner's purse of USD 60000.

Even as most of the fancied went through to the second round, Ukrainian sensation Kateryna Lahno suffered a shocking ouster in the first round itself as she lost the return game against Karen Zapata of Peru.

Defending champion Antoaneta Stefanova was seen struggling for some time against lowest ranked Amina Mezioud of Algeria before finally settling for a draw to win the match by a 1.5-0.5 margin.

Highest rated player in the event, Humpy won her second straight game to cruise to the second round. For the second day running, Sabure proved no match for the wily Indian girl and lost her way while trying to work through complexities of a Sicilian Paulsen.

Playing black, Humpy gave no chances to Sabure and seized the initiative in the middle game with some copybook maneuvers leading to a positional advantage.

Sabure was at sea under pressure and blundered on the 24th move that allowed Humpy to win a piece by force. The Indian, who had lost the semifinals in the last championship at Elista, Kalmykia, romped home after just 34 moves.

Vijayalakshmi's victory was quite significant as this was the first time she made it to the second round of the event in her third attempt in the championship.

After living dangerously for some time against Berezina, Vijayalakshmi was back to her counter attacking self in a queen pawn game where the Australian played white.

Getting a slight advantage in the middle game, Vijayalakshmi who is fondly referred to as Viji in the chess fraternity, was surprised at the draw offer by her opponent in just 25 moves and gladly accepted to win the two-games mini match by a 1.5-0.5 margin.

Meenakshi lost another one-sided affair against Kosintseva who played remorselessly against the Modern defense opted for by the Indian.

The Russian, black, was clearly on top when the middle game surfaced and her fine attacking technique gave little chances to Meenakshi who lost an exchange before her king fell in a checkmating web. The game lasted 41 moves.

Important and Indian results round 1: Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul) beat Amina Mezioud (Alg) 1.5-0.5; Tuduetso Sabure (Bot) lost to Koneru Humpy (Ind) 0-2; Pia Cramling (Swe) beat F Basta Sohair (Egy) 2-0; Natalia Khoudgarian (Can) lost to Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus) 0-2; Maia Chiburdanidze (Geo) beat Ingris Revera (Col) 1.5-0.5; Kateryna Lahno (Ukr) lost to Karen Zapata (Per) 0.5-1.5; Irina Berezina (Aus) lost to S Vijayalakshmi (Ind) 0.5-1.5; Tatiana Kosintseva (Rus) beat S Meenakshi (Ind) 2-0.

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