Chennai's R. Vaishali stunned former World champion Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria and entered the quarterfinals of the first leg of the FIDE Chess.com Women’s Speed Chess on Wednesday.
Her 6-5 victory gave India something to cheer about after Koneru Humpy, the reigning World rapid champion, was shocked earlier in the day by Vietnam’s Le Thao Nguyen Pham.
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Humpy lost the match 4.5-5.5. The scores were level at 3.5-3.5 after the first two segments of the encounter. Le’s wins in the first two games – of a duration of one minute plus one second per move – in the final segment ensured her passage to the quarterfinals.
Also through to the last eight are Kateryna Lagno of Russia, Ukraine’s Anna Ushenina and Ju Wenjun of China.
There are four legs in this, the Grand Prix part of the tournament, with each of the 22 players getting to play in three of them. That means Humpy has to score heavily in the two remaining legs.
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The results (first round): Kateryna Lagno (Rus) bt Ning Kaiyu (Chn) 8-3; Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz) lost to Anna Ushenina (Ukr) 2-9; Ju Wenjun (Chn) bt Bibisara Assaubayeva (Kaz) 7-3; Koneru Humpy (Ind) lost to Le Thao Nguyen Pham (Vie) 4.5-5.5; Antoaneta Stefanoa (Bul) lost to R. Vaishali (Ind) 5-6.