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Humpy crowned Asian champion
August 25, 2003 21:56 IST
India's Koneru Humpy and Dronavali Harika put an end to Chinese domination to grab the gold and silver medals respectively in the 10th Asian women's chess championship, which concluded in Kozikhode on Monday.
Grandmaster Humpy established her supremacy by claiming the gold with seven points. Tournament sensation Harika took the silver, pushing Vietnam's Hoang Thanh Trang to the third spot on better average rating.
WGM Vijayalakshmi, who was in contention for the title until she drew her eighth round game with Zhang Jilin (China) yesterday, lost to Trang Xu Yuanyuan (China), who drew with compatriot Gu Xiaobing to move to six points and finish fourth in the championship, in which the Chinese held sway for several years.
Defending champion Li Ruofan (China) finished a poor ninth after splitting points with Tania Sachdev.
Agreeing for a draw against Le Kieu Thien Kim (VIE), Humpy ensured the top position to justify her top billing in the tournament, although the Vijayawada girl had virtually won the title yesterday itself by virtue of her better average rating.
"I am very happy to win unopposed as the tournament is the toughest I have played so far," Humpy said.
Harika, who created a few upsets in the initial rounds to hog the limelight, convincingly beat Wang Yu (China) to finish second with 6.5 points after recording a better average compared to Trang.
With five players - Wang Yu, Huang Quian, Zhao Xue, Xu Yuanyuan (all China) and Nguyen Thi Thanh Anh (Vietnam) - besides the title winner Humpy, having already qualified for the World championship, the 12 other top-rankers earned an entry to the tournament.
The 12 players are -- D Harika, S Vijayalakshmi, Bhagyashree Thipsay, Tania Sachdev, Aarthie Ramaswamy (all India), Hoang Thanh Trang, Le Kieu Thien Kim (both Vietnam), Shen Yang, Gu Xiaobing, Li Ruofan, Zhang Jilin and Tian Tian (all China).
FIDE, during its recent meeting at Nigeria, had announced a prize of US $8,000 to be shared among the top 16 players.