Nalchik (Russia):World Junior Girls' champion D Harika has a tough contest on hand as she takes on Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine in the second round of the world women's chess championship here.
Grandmaster and rating favourite Koneru Humpy will get a bye in the second round and proceed to the third round owing to withdrawal of the Georgian contingent from the championship.
Humpy was slated to play the winner of the all-Georgian clash between Maia Lomineishvili and Sopiko Khukashvili in the second round but since both did not turn up for the event the Indian stalwart sails in to the third round without making a move.
The other two Indians in the fray Tania Sachdev and Nisha Mohota had crashed out in the first round itself.
Tania had succumbed to the pressure against Tan Zhongyi of China while Nisha had found the going tough against local hopeful Nadezhda Kosintseva of Russia.
Meanwhile there was expected drama in the tie-breaker of the first round and two of the five matches were decided only in the Armageddon (sudden death game).
The excitement was at its peak in the duel between Ilaha Kadimova of Azerbaijan and Elisabeth Paehtz of Germany. While both players had won one game each under Classical time control, in the rapid and blitz too it was no different story as both players shared a victory each.
It was in the sudden death game that Paehtz finally tightened the noose.
Playing white the best German player was under pressure to win, as a draw would have meant her ouster from the championship.
However, holding her nerves together Paehtz carved out a nice win after a temporary rook sacrifice in the middle game.
Monika Socko of Poland was the higher rated player who was ousted from the championship losing to Sabina Foisor of Romania in the other sudden death game.
Sabina in fact ran out of time playing black but Monika did not have material to checkmate and as per stipulations the game was drawn. This is the third time that Socko went out in the first round of the World championship.
The shocker of the day was the ouster of Natalia Zhukova of Ukraine who could not make it past lower ranked Katrina Rohonyan of United States in the rapid tiebreaker. After drawing the first game as white, Zhukova lost the second rapid game and bowed out of the championship.
In other tie-break matches, Ju Wenjun of China advanced to the second round defeating Natasa Bojkovic of Serbia while Lilit Mkrtchian of Armenia put it across Eva Moser of Austria.
The Championship is being played on a knock out basis with two games mini-match under Classical time control in each round except the final which is a four-games match.
In the event of a tie, two rapid games are played and if still tied there are two more games under blitz chess rules.
If the deadlock continues, there is a final sudden death of Armageddon game where in white gets six minutes against black's five and the former must win to secure passage to the next round.
The championship carries a total prize pool of USD 450000 with 60000 USD reserved for the winner.