| Anand: Facile win
Hyderabad: Defending champion Viswanathan Anand and sixteen-year-old Grandmaster Koneru Humpy moved into the semi-finals of the World Cup chess meet contrasting victories over Vladimir Malakhov of Russia and Li Ruofan of China on Wednesday.
Anand, who had settled for a draw in the first game of the quarter finals on Tuesday, defeated his opponent in the second on Wednesday to win by a 1.5-0.5 margin.
It was a tactical game involving the Sicilian Defence in Dragon variation and Anand outplayed Malakhov in an advantageous endgame with very active pieces.
Anand’s board had all the trappings of a strategic play with deception and blitzkrieg and the two players trying to lure each other into a trap.
It was, however in the endgame that the Indian master showed his class by a two-pronged strategy, which saw him placing his pieces in very active positions and immobilising his opponents’ pieces.
Anand kept his opponent’s passed E pawn checked throughout and launched his attack bringing even his king into play.
Humpy pulled off an incredible victory against Ruofan in the tie-breaker to win her quarter final match.
Humpy staged a superb fightback after the match went into the tie-breaker when she lost the second round of her quarter final match to Ruofan on Wednesday after winning the first round.
In the tiebreaker, Humpy playing white won the first game with ease but was pushed into a tight corner in the second game by Ruofan who played a Petroff Opening.
Humpy, who had won her first game on Tuesday, lost to Ruofan in the second game on Wednesday necessitating a tie-breaker.
In another quarter final, Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan drew with Ye Jiang Chun. Kasimdzhanov had defeated Chun in the first game.
Nigel Short of England and Alexander Dreev of Russia also drew their matches to go into the tie-breaker.
In other matches in the women’s section, defending champion Xu Yuhua inflicted a telling blow on giantkiller S. Meenakshi in the second game involving the Pirc Defence to keep her title defence afloat.
Meenakshi failed to come out of the web and at no point did she pose a threat as Yuhua maintained a vice-like grip throughout the game.
In other matches, Svetiana Matveeva of Russia defeated young Irina Krush of the US to enter the last-four stage. The two had drawn their first game.
Stefanova Antoneta of Bulgaria also qualified for the semi-finals, defeating Pin Wang of China in the second game after playing out a draw in the first.
Results (quarter finals)
Men: Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 1.5) bt Vladimir Malakhov (Rus, 0.5), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzb, 1.5) bt Ye Jiang Chuan (Chn, 0.5), Alexander Beliavsky (Slo, 1.5) bt Sergey Rublevsky (Rus, 0.5).
Women: Svetlana Matveeva (Rus, 1.5) bt Irina Krush (US, 0.5), Stefanova Antoneta (Bul, 1.5) bt Pin Wang (Chn, 0.5), Xu Yuhua (Chn, 1.5) bt S. Meenakshi (Ind, 0.5).