Chess Olympiad: Koneru Humpy wins Armageddon, helps India reach final

India will play the winner of the other semifinal between Russia and the USA on Sunday.

Koneru Humpy powered India into the final of Chess Olympiad.   -  Special Arrangement

India staged a magnificent comeback, on National Sports Day, to defeat Poland and move into the final of the online Chess Olympiad on Saturday.

After the teams were level at the end of the two matches – in which there were six games apiece – the winner had to be decided by the Armageddon (tie-breaker).

Koneru Humpy, World No. 2 from Vijayawada, had black pieces against Monika Socko. That meant she had four minutes to make her moves against her rival's five.

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But the player with black pieces only needed to draw, while the rival needed to win. Humpy did more than what was required, winning the Catalan game in 73 moves; she checkmated Socko, promoting her pawn to have two queens.

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Humpy, the queen of Indian chess for long, justified her team's faith in her.

Having lost the first match 2-4, India had to win the second and it did just that with a 4.5-1.5 victory. Viswanathan Anand, skipper Vidit Gujrathi, Humpy and Dronavalli Harika won their respective games, more than making up for R. Praggnanandhaa's loss and Vantika Agrawal's draw.

In Sunday's final, India will take on the winner of the second semifinal between top seed Russia and the United States.

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