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Humpy has things her way
December 03, 2006 14:41 IST
Grandmasters K Sasikiran and Koneru Humpy gave the country a resounding start, as Indian wood pushers, expectedly, made the right moves on the first day of the 15th Asian Games' chess competition in Doha on Saturday.
Their domination was expected as they are top-rated in both the men's and women's sections due to their high Elo ratings.
The format here is Rapid Swiss, different from the classic format, and time pressure will, in course of the meet, become a major hurdle to cross.
In the first round of the men's category, Sasikiran played a safe draw with IM Imad Haki of Syria before pushing to another draw with GM Elshan Moradibadi of Iran.
That Harikrishna wasn't in the best mood for a rapid game was clear when he played out another draw, this time with IM Enamul Hossain of Bangladesh.
Despite Sasikiran's average show, as a team, India fared well with the other member, GM Pentalya Harikrishna, playing superb chess. He beat Fide Master Batchuluun Tsegmed of Mongolia in the first round before following it up with a regulation draw versus IM Hasan al-Hammadi Abdulla of the UAE.
Even a third draw, with a none-too-demanding Shinya Kojima of Japan, kept the balance intact for India.
The women's section saw top-rated Grandmaster Koneru Humpy have it pretty easy. She is the only woman here with a men's Grandmaster title -- Hungarian Judit Polgar is the top rated player in the world -- and her win over Samima Akter of Bangladesh showed it.
She took care of WGM Aguyen An Thi Tanh of Vietnam in round two before settling for a regulation draw with WIM Olga Sabirova of Uzbekistan.
Humpy's was a good first round win despite playing with black and later she said she felt ''comfortable'' with it, while Harikrishna said he was able to take advantage of his opponents missing some good moves.