|HOME | SPORTS | PTI | NEWS|
|September 12, 2001||
Li Ruofan wins Asian women's chess
China's Woman International Master Li Ruofan emerged triumphant in the Asian women's chess championship, tallying nine points, after scoring an emphatic victory in the 11th and final round in Madras on Wednesday.
Tournament top seed WGM S Vijayalakshmi of India totalled eight points to finish runner-up while compatriot Nisha Mohota, despite losing on Wednesday, was placed third with seven points on account of a higher progressive score in the tie-break.
The three players, alongwith Huang Qian (China), Wang Yu (China), Aarthie Ramaswamy (Ind) and Swati Ghate (Ind), qualified for the World women championship, beginning on November 24, in Moscow, FIDE vice-president P T Ummer Koya said.
Qian, Yu, Aarthie and Swati, all tallied seven points and were placed in that order after the top three as per the progressive tie-break scores.
The 23-year-old Li Ruofan was impressive in her match against IWM Swati Ghate. Employing the classical variation of Ruy Lopez opening, Li went for an attack towards black's king.
Swati's weak structure of pawns before her king made white's job easy and Li Ruofan struck a wonderful sacrifice of her knight to expose the black king. Anticipating a checkmate in the next few moves, Swati resigned on her 26th move.
National Champion Vijayalakshmi survived some anxious moments against WIM Levushkina Elena (Uzbekistan) in two knight's defence.
Against white's king pawn opening Vijayalakshmi chose a rather dull defence. However, the game was balanced as long as the queens were on the board.
In the rook and minor piece ending, Levushkina maintained microscopic advantage, but she preferred a rather danish variation when she was left with rook and knight and her opponent with rook and two scattered pawns. Although Levushkina was a piece up here, she had to settle for a draw as the game reached a deadlock. The players split the point after 66 moves.
WGM norm holder Aarthie Ramaswamy carved out a neat victory over Khamrakulova Iroda (Uzbekistan).
In a game involving sicilian dragon variation, Aarthie started her campaign with white pieces, striving for a win for a berth in the world championship. Castling on the queenside, Aarthie terrified her opponent by sacrificing her rook and secured a win.
Uzbekistan's Khamrakulova could not sustain the onslaught of the former World under-18 champion Aarthie Ramaswamy. When Aarthie made a powerful pawn manoeuvre of her queen, rook and bishop towards the enemy king, her opponent resigned on the 30th move.
Nisha Mohota, who had a fine run during the first half of the tournament, was at the receiving end against WGM Zhao Xue (China).
In a queen pawn game, Nisha with white pieces maintained an inferior position, although materially it was equal. In the ensuing end game, the Chinese WGM cleverly exchanged the only knight available on the chess board to reach a rook versus rook end game with an extra passer on the 'c' file for her. The Chinese WGM marched her king towards the queening square to wind up the game in her favour in 42 moves.
Huang Quian scored an important victory over Maria Sergeeva (Kazakastan) in a king's Indis. Qian, who made her maiden WIM norm yesterday, qualified for the world women championship with this win.
Alongwith the title, Li Ruofan carried home the champion's purse of $2000, while Vijayalakshmi got $1750 and Nisha Mohota $1400.
Mail Sports Editor
SEARCH | NEWSLINKS
BROADBAND | E-CARDS | ROMANCE | WEDDING | SHOPPING | BOOKS | MUSIC | GIFTS
FREE MESSENGER | HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK