Former World junior girls champion and Grandmaster Koneru Humpy was held to a draw by French International master Marie Sebag in the first game of the second round of World Women's chess championship underway in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
The draw means that Humpy, the highest rated player in the championship, will have to come out firing on all cylinders in the return game slated for tomorrow to proceed to the next round.
In the event of another draw, Humpy will have to decide the duel in games of shorter duration in this USD 4,50,000 prize money event being played on a knockout basis.
The other remaining Indian in the fray, International Master S Vijayalakshmi suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Lela Javakashvili of Georgia in her first game of the second round. It will be curtains for Vijayalakshmi unless she is able to win the return game.
Meanwhile at the top of the table, defending champion Antoaneta Stefanova played a fine attacking game to beat Iweta Radziewicz of Poland. It was an incredible performance by Stefanova on the first table as she pierced Radziewicz to pieces in her favourite Trompovski attack with white pieces.Also registering a smooth victory was Alexandra Kosteniuk who seemed to have a lot of fan following here. The Russian one-time-glam-girl needed 45 moves to crush Elina Danielian of Armenia who played with white pieces.