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Indian women crush Mexico
October 16, 2004 13:55 IST
The Indian women's team got off to a flying start, scoring a crushing 2.5-0.5 victory against Mexico in the first round of the 36th Chess Olympiad in Mallorca, Spain.
Top seeds and defending champion China dropped half a point enroute to a 2.5-0.5 triumph over Norway in their opening match. The next three seeds -- Russia, United States and Georgia also had to concede one draw against Iceland, Venezuela and Bosnia-Herzegovina respectively.
The event is being played under FIDE's Swiss rules with 14 rounds and 42 games in all. The time control is 90 minutes for the entire game with a 30-second add on after every move is played.
The Indians could have also boasted of a clean slate but for the surprise result that saw International Master S Vijayalakshmi being held to a draw by Edith Garcia, rated more than 350 ELO points below the Indian.
Also surprising was the fact that Vijayalakshmi was pushed to the wall right from the middle game stage and managed to wriggle out only in the endgame to get the half point.
Following routine theory of the Scotch opening, Garcia got a reasonable position after the opening and nurtured it well to get a commanding endgame that forced Vijayalakshmi to look out for the right defensive resources.
In the rook and pawns endgame that was reached, Garcia failed to convert her slightly better position and allowed her opponent to liquidate to a level position.
On the top board, Grandmaster Koneru Humpy was off to a flier in her first outing in the Olympiad as she scored a fine victory over Yadira Guerrero Hernandez.
Playing the white side of the Fianchetto variation of the King's Indian defence, Humpy got her pieces rolling on the queen side and won a pawn effectively without any compensation.
However, some stiff resistance by Hernandez forced her to sacrifice the pawn back to get a dangerous looking passed pawn on the Queen Bishop file. As the pawn started to march to glory, Hernandez failed to cope with immense pressure and resigned after 39 moves.
Woman Grandmaster Nisha Mohota too came up with a spirited performance to outclass Guadalupe Vasquez who played the black side of a Semi Slav.
Having done her homework well, Nisha got a commanding position in the opening itself and went for a direct attack in the middle game. Vasquez soon found herself struggling and missed a tactical stroke that cost her a pawn. Nisha gave no chances thereafter and wrapped the issue in 43 moves.
"It was a nice game and I am quite happy with the way I played," said Nisha adding that her opponent went for the wrong plan that damaged her position considerably.
"There was no chance of a comeback after I won a pawn and simplified to a winning endgame," said Nisha.
For China, the half point was lost on board one after Silje Bjerke played a solid game with white to hold World Cup Champion Xu Yuhua.
Playing the white side of the Capablanca variation against Yuhua's Nimzo Indian defence, Bjerke went for regulation exchanges to reach a level endgame and drew in 33 moves.
However, on the remaining boards Zhao Xue and Hualb Qian won for China.
Surprisingly enough, Russia also dropped a half point on its top board as glam girl and former world women's championship finalist Alexandra Kosteniuk was forced to sign peace with Lenka Ptacnikova in 37 moves of a Bogodian defence.
But the Kosintseva sisters, Natalia and Nadezhda scored victories on the remaining boards for Russia.
Important Results Round One:
Norway lost to China 0.5-2.5; Russia beat Iceland 2.5-0-5; Venezuela lost to United States 0,5-2-5; Georgia beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 2.5-0.5; Finland lost to Ukraine 0-3; India beat Mexico 2.5-0.5; Denmark lost to Poland 1-2; France beat Portugal 3-1; Canada lost to Bulgaria 0-3; Romania beat Austria 2-1; Bangladesh lost to Serbia 0-3; Slovakia drew with Columbia 1.5-1.5; IBCA lost to Hungary 0-3; Armenia lost to Malaysia 1-2; Turkey lost to Netherlands 0-3.
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