Humpy crushes Shen Yang; semis beckon

Grandmaster Koneru Humpy needs just a draw in the second game to advance to the semifinals of the world women's chess championship.

updated: September 11, 2008 16:03 IST
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Nalchik (Russia):

Grandmaster Koneru Humpy on Sunday outclassed Shen Yang of China with some brilliant manoeuvres in the first game of the quarterfinals and now needs just a draw in the second game to advance to the semifinals of the world women's chess championship, underway here.

The highest rated player of the event, Humpy displayed some excellent attacking chess well compiled with fine positional ideas and Yang was outdone in all departments of the game.

The victory gave Humpy a crucial 1-0 lead in the two games mini-match of this knockout championship.

It was a Slav defense by Yang that spelt doom for her. Going for a not-so-popular variation the Chinese was in troubles right in to the early middle game when Humpy unleashed a king side attack.

Yang is considered to be a fine talent from the Chinese factory but Sunday turned out to be a bad day in office as she just could not produce any counter play with black pieces.

Humpy to her credit, played some positional moves before uncorking a piece sacrifice on the 21st and black's position collapsed in quick time thereafter.

Yang lost her extra material a few moves later but her king's position had become vulnerable. On the 27th move, Humpy came up with another knight sacrifice and it was curtains for the Chinese four moves later.

In the other games of the quarterfinals former world champion Antoaneta Stefanova suffered a major setback when she was beaten by Pia Cramling of Sweden.

Stefanova also faced a Slav defense but failed to produce the magic of Humpy with white pieces.

Cramling gained ground in the middle game and knocked down a pawn, won an exchange in late stages of the middle game and thereafter salvaged a desperate onslaught by Stefanova to emerge a winner after 54 moves.

Cramling now needs a draw with white pieces in the return game.

Lilit Mkrtchian of Armenia was quite content taking a draw against Yifan Hao of China who played black.

The Nimzo Indian by Yifan led to a balanced queen-less middle game wherein Yifan went for some regulation exchanges to spilt the point.

The other game of the quarterfinals between Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia and Anna Ushenina of Ukraine was apparently heading for a draw at the time of going to press.

Results quarterfinal game 1: Koneru Humpy (Ind) beat Shen Yang (Chn); Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul) lost to Pia Cramling (Swe); Lilit Mkrtchian (Arm) drew with Yifan Hao (Chn); Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus) playing Anna Ushenina (Ukr).