Hatay (Turkey), Dec 19 (IANS) For the second successive time, India’s top rated player in the competition Koneru Humpy crashed out to China’s 16-year-old Hou Yifan in the semi-finals of the Women’s World Chess Championship.
Faced with a must-win situation in the second game of the semi-finals, the Indian star managed only a draw after losing the first game. The final score was 1.5-0.5 in favour of the Chinese player.
It was a must-win match for the Indian after she lost her opening round Thursday but all she could manage was a draw. She ended with 0.5 points compared to Hao’s 1.5 at Hatay in Turkey Saturday. Humpy takes $20,000, of which 20 percent is taken by the FIDE.
At the last World Championships in Nalchik, Humpy had lost at the same stage to Yifan. In the final, Yifan will meet the winner of Zhao Xue and Ruan Lufei. The four-game final begins Monday.
The semi-final between Zhao Xue and Ruan Lufei went into the tie-breaker.
India’s other challenger Dronavalli Harika lost in the quarter-finals to Lufei Ruan, also of China.
The Women’s World Chess Championship was a 64-player knockout tournament, with two-game mini-matches taking each player to the next round until the final and sixth round, which is a four-game final.
Humpy lost the first game which had the Berlin defence in 79 moves. The game was a long drawn out affair in the end as both players exchanged all pieces and were left with just the bishop and seven pawns each after only 28 moves.
Yifan played smart and went a pawn up and then Yifan sacrificed two pawns to help her other two pawns reach the seventh rank after which Humpy resigned.
In the second game of the mini-match Humpy with white changed her strategy and attacked. But Yifan counter-attacked and got a draw in 45 moves.