Harika and Humpy win medals

India came agonisingly close to winning a medal at the recent women's World team chess championship in Chengdu, China. All that stood between India and a bronze medal was one point. However, China won that bronze with 11 points. Georgia, with 17 points, claimed the title while Russia finished second with 15.

India, however, had the consolation of winnings two individual medals (awarded to the best individual performances on each of the four boards).

Dronavalli Harika won the silver medal on the second board with a strike rate of 68.8, behind Lilit Mkrtchian of Armenia (72.2). Humpy won the bronze on the top board with a strike rate of 61.1, behind Georgia's Bela Khotenashvili (83.3) and Valentina Gunina of Russia (62.5).

It was indeed a creditable show by the two Indians, who didn't have much time to recover after a gruelling World Championship in Sochi, Russia, where they had to play back-to-back knock-out rounds.

Harika had done rather well to win the bronze, before falling in the semi-finals to the eventual champion, Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine. Humpy, though, was knocked out in the quarterfinals despite being the top seed and registering six straight victories. So, she would have enjoyed her success at Chengdu a bit more.

Padmini Rout, Soumya Swaminathan and Mary Ann Gomes were the others in the Indian team.

P. K. Ajith Kumar