Humpy through to next round, Harika to fight tie-breaks

Padmini Rout is the other Indian to get in to the tie-breaks after she did well to hold Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan for the second day in a row.

Koneru Humpy finished with a renowned back-rank theme. (File Photo)   -  Nagara Gopal

Grandmaster Koneru Humpy scored a second victory over Hayat Toubal of Algeria in the second game of the first round of World Women Chess Championship on Sunday.

The other Indian Grandmaster, D Harika, was stretched to the tiebreaker with Sopiko Khukashvili of Georgia following a second draw.

Humpy, who is vying for her maiden world championship title, faced some welcome resistance that will get her in shape for the rounds to come.

The Indian was never in trouble as black and got her pieces swinging on the king side after winning a pawn. The end was picturesque as Humpy finished with a renowned back-rank theme.

Harika will have to battle it out in the tie-break games against Khukashvili who was under pressure but somehow sustained herself to make a draw out of what looked like a difficult rook and pawns endgame.

Harika, a bronze medallist in the last two editions of this knockout format starts as a huge favourite in this clash when the games of shorter time duration will decide the winner.

Padmini Rout is the other Indian to get in to the tie-breaks after she did well to hold Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan for the second day in a row.

Padmini was at her technical best in defending what was a slightly worse endgame. Having squandered the Bishop pair in the middle game, Padmini had to find her rescue act in the ensuing endgame when her knights had to find all the best moves to stay afloat.

Harika and Padmini will fight it out in the tiebreak games of shorter duration. The first set will be a 25t minutes two-game battle and thereafter it will keep getting shorter till the players arrive at a final Armageddon game that will see the winner to the next round.

The women’s world championship for the last time is held on a knock-out format between 64 players. The total prize fund is USD 45000 with USD 60000 reserved for the winner.

The fourth Indian contest in the fray — Bhakti Kulkarni - bowed out of the championship after drawing with Natalija Pogonina of Russia in the second game under normal time control.

Bhakti tried hard to make a foray in to black’s camp but Pogonina was up to the task in finding her resources. The Goa-based who got here by virtue of winning the Asian women continental championship is the first Indian to bow out

Indian Results round 1 game 2: Hayat Toubal (Alg) lost to Koneru Humpy (Ind) 0-2: Sopiko Khukashvili (Geo) drew with D Harika (Ind) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz) drew with Padmini Rout (Ind) 1-1 goes to tiebreak; Bhakti Kulkarni (Ind( drew with Natalija Pogonina (Rus) 0.5-1.5.

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