| Koneru Humpy: In fine form
Goa: Defending champion, Grandmaster Koneru Humpy scored a thumping victory over Tian Tian of China and regained joint lead on 3.5 points after the fourth round of the 19th world juniors girls’ chess championship here at Cidade de Goa Wednesday.
The two overnight leaders Nadezhda Kosintseva of Russia and Chinese Wang Yue were involved in a hard fought draw after a safety first approach by Kosintseva who played white. Apart from these two and Humpy, Tatiana Kosintseva of Russia and Zhao Xue of China share the top position.
Amongst the other Indian girls aspiring for International Woman Master and Women Grandmaster norms, Dronavalli Harika suffered a setback at the hands of Makka Ioulia of Greece while Asian junior girls champion Tania Sachdev played out a quick draw against S. Zjgangirova of Kazakhstan.
Humpy displayed superb form to outclass Tian Tian. The Petroff defence opening usually has the reputation of obtaining a draw result or at best a level position for the black player but Wednesday it served Humpy in the most prolific manner. Right after the initial stage of the game Humpy obtained a positional advantage thanks to a rather lacklustre handling of the opening by her opponent.
Steady development ensued for both the players and Humpy was the first to strike in the centre that gave her huge space to manoeuvre her forces.
Looking for counter play, Tian went for a dubious king side attack and was soon punished as Humpy invaded the king side with her queen and rook. The rest was easy.
Playing white Harika did not get a desirable advantage in the king’s Indian attack and gave black a comfortable position right after the opening. Ioulia conducted the game excellently once she gained the upper hand and was rewarded with full point for her efforts.
Another one to go down was former Asian junior girls champion M. Kasturi who misplayed a superior position against Elmira Khasanov of Russia. The Phillidor defence gave Kasturi a lively position after both players castled on opposite flanks and she appeared to be cruising with a piece sacrifice in the middle game. However disaster struck and Kasturi blundered away her chances in the final moments.
In her own words, Tania has not been “opening well” and in the fourth round too it became a major cause behind her quick draw. “I think I need to work harder on my openings,” said Tania.