Chess Olympiad: Indian women crush Russia

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Koneru Humpy and S Vijayalakshmi helped India score a 2-1 victory over Russia in the 10th round of the women's section of the 36th Chess Olympiad.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:09 IST
  • Total Shares


Koneru Humpy and S Vijayalakshmi helped India score a memorable 2-1 victory over Russia in the 10th round of the women's section of the 36th Chess Olympaid here at Gran Casino. Indian eves came close to realisation of their medal dream thanks to both Humpy and Vijayalakshmi who proved superior than their higher rated rivals - Alexandra Kosteniuk and Ekaterina Kovalevskaya. Even Nisha Mohota's loss against Nadezhda Kosintseva on the third board could not save the Russians. The Chinese juggernaut was finally halted by the US who scored a 2-1 victory. The result was made possible by Irina Krush on the second board as she romped home against World Cup Champion Xu Yuhua. The other two games ended in draws. Rare triumph The victory gave the US a rare triumph over the leaders who are otherwise running away with the title. As things stand now, China leads with 24.5 in their kitty and are now followed by Hungary on 20. Half a point adrift of Hungarians are the Indian eves along with the US and Georgia. Koneru Humpy proved much stronger than Alexandra Kostneuik in the game of the day. Both were locked in an intense battle as Humpy varied from her usual Modern defense and went for the Sicilian Paulsen. The Indian sacrificed a pawn to parry threats on the King side in the middle game and her active pieces ensured that their was sufficient counter play. Wild complications In wild complications that ensued Humpy won a piece with a well disguised tactical stroke and crowned her achievement with well defined technical play. Kosteniuk called it a day on her 43rd turn. "It is really good," Humpy said about the Indian victory. Speaking about her game she said that Kosteniuk just fell for her preparation. "I had been waiting for an opportunity to use this variation against stronger opposition, its nice that it came good too," Humpy said. Vijayalakshmi was a class act in her one sided victory over World Women's championship finalist Ekaterina Kovalevskaya. Tangible advantage Kovalevskaya opted for the King's Indian defence as black and it was the fianchetto variation that gave Vijayalakshmi a tangible advantage. Nurturing it with deft manoeuvres Vijayalakshmi won a pawn and went on to display immaculate winning technique. It was coincident that Vijayalakshmi's victory also came in 43 moves. However on the third board Nisha Mohota failed to sustain the pressure againsd Kosintseva who improved upon a previous game in the Olympiad to get an advantage in the closed Sicilian. (PTI)