Jodhpur: S. Vijayalakshmi beat reigning world champion Zhu Chen as the Indian women scored a 2-1 victory over China to emerge joint-leaders with Vietnam after the third round of the Asian team chess championship Thursday.
In the menís section, top seeds China roared back to form after two ordinary rounds and thrashed Iran 4-0 to join Vietnam at the top of the tables on 8.5 points.
The Vietnamese were involved in a 2-2 draw against a spirited India C, who are sitting pretty in third place just half-a-point behind the leaders. In the fourth place is Kazakhstan on 7.5. The other Indian teams in fray, A and B, are next in the order with seven points apiece.
While there was no surprise in the menís section, the womenís half witnessed something sensational. Vijayalakshmi, the first WGM of the country, scored a thumping victory over the world champion to script a spectacular win for her team.
The womenís section looks wide open by this surprising turn of events as China and India C, who blanked Bangladesh 3-0, share the third place on six points each. India B are in the fifth spot with 5.5 points.
In the last World Cup at Hyderabad, Zhu had suffered an unexpected loss to S. Meenakshi, younger sister of Vijayalakshmi, and that must have been a major booster for the former national champion.
Playing white, the Indian faced the Grunfeld Defence and it looked almost a one sided affair once she launched an attack against the king.
The white pieces appeared almost in a frenzy to checkmate black and the Chinese did not have a chance after some fine moves by Vijayalakshmi.
An exchange sacrifice was followed by a piece sacrifice by Vijayalakshmi that ripped apart Zhuís king side and the match over after just 36 moves.
On board two, Nisha Mohota came good and held Xu Yuhua to a draw while national champion Aarthie Ramaswamy settled for peace against Hoang Qian to complete the Indian win.
In the menís section, India A tried hard but faced stiff resistance against India B and the result was a 2-2 draw that can be considered a very satisfactory one for the latter. Leading the team from the front was the countryís youngest GM Koneru Humpy who held the mighty Krishnan Sasikiran to a draw.
Double GM norm holder R.B. Ramesh put it across GM P. Harikrishna to make sure that Tejas Bakreís defeat against Dibyendu Barua on board four did not matter much.