Grandmaster Koneru Humpy of India [ Images ] made it to the quarter-finals of the World Women Chess Championship after she split point in the second game of the third round against Anna Zatonskih of the United States.
The win in the first game proved handy for Humpy who needed a draw in the second from the more favourable colour.
The other Indian in the fray, D Harika was stretched to the tiebreaker by Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine. After a draw in the first game, the deadlock continued in the second as well and these two will now be competing in the rapid tiebreak games to determine the winner.
Should the 1-1 results continue in tiebreaker, there will be more games under shorter time control and eventually there will be an Armageddon [ Images ] game to decide the winner.
Besides Humpy, Kateryna Kahno of Ukraine and Chinese duo of Zhao Xue and Ju Wenjun too made it to the quarters following wins in the two-game mini match. Interestingly, all these four qualifiers had won the first game of the match and drew the return game to move in to the next round.
Defending Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk will have to fight it out in the rapid games against Ruan Lufei of China who put up another fine show to hold the world champion to a draw.
Chinese teenager Yifan Hao was in for a surprise as she lost the return game against Zhu Chen of Qatar. Zhu Chen, a former world women’s champion, needed to win the second game having lost the first.
These two will also compete in the tiebreaker along with Viktorija Cmilyte of Lithuania and Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine –both drew the second game as well.
Humpy had to do very little to secure the draw. Anna was visibly disappointed with her performance in the first game, and in the second game too, luck deserted her.
Playing the Leningrad Dutch as black, the American was outwitted in the opening battle as Humpy nonchalantly secured a much better position very early in the game.
Anna, sensing troubles, proposed a draw after making her 14th move and even though Humpy could have continued, she logically decided to ensure qualification to the next round and agreed to the draw.
Harika had to fight hard with her black pieces. Mariya employed the Scotch opening but did not get much as the Indian exchanged pieces at will to reach a level rook and minor piece endgame. The peace was signed after 24 moves.
Complete Results of round 3:
Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus) drew with Ruan Lufei (Chn) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Yifan Hao (Chn) lost to Zhu Chen (Qat) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Anna Zatonskih (Usa) drew with Koneru Humpy (Ind) 0.5-1.5; D Harika (Ind) drew with Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Zhao Xue (Chn) drew withYelena Dembo (Gre) 1.5-0.5; Anna Muzychuk (Slo) drew with Ju Wenjun (Chn) 0.5-1.5; Kateryna Lahno (Ukr) drew with Huang Qian (Chn) 1.5-0.5; Viktorija Cmilyte (Ltu) drew with Almira Skripchenko (Fra) 1-1, goes to tiebreak.