Grandmaster Koneru Humpy's unhappy memories of the national capital came to haunt her again as she was stunned in the opening round of the second Parsvnath Chess championship by unheralded Harish Sharma at New Delhi on Wednesday.
The Commonwealth women's champion, who had lost four of the nine rounds in the first edition of the tournament last year in what was her maiden appearance in the capital, went down to the local player and surrendered in 71 moves.
The 25-year-old Sharma opted for a Sicilian Paulsen opening and took control of the game by the 20th move. Though Humpy managed to stretch the game longer, the local boy, who had not even defeated any International Master before, kept his cool in the rook pawn finish to record the biggest upset of the day.
The other players on the top board had an easy outing with top seed Pavel Kotsur of Kazakhstan, Dibyendu Barua and last year's champion R B Ramesh wresting full points in the 11-round event.
National champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly got a walkover from N S Bhattacharya.
Women Grandmaster Arthie Ramaswamy and WGM-elect Dronavalli Harika also won their matches easily.
At least 250 players from 12 countries are playing in the Rs Four lakh prize money tournament.
Results (Indians unless specified):
Pavel Kotsur (Kaz, 1) bt Santosh Borkar 0, Hemant Mendhre (0) lost to Georgy Timoshenko (Ukr, 1), Venkatesh H (0) lost to Dibyendu Barua (1), Surya Shekhar Ganguly (1) w/o N S Bhattacharya (1), Sandipan Chanda (1) bt Junaid Ahamad (0), M R Sangeetha (2) w/o Tahir Vakhdov (Uzb, 0), R B Ramesh (1) bt Kazi Rashed Dinayet (Ban, 0), Harish Sharma (1) bt Koneru Humpy (0), Neelotpal Das (.5) drew Abuprital Patil (.5), Himanshu Kumar (0) lost to Serik Temirnaev (Kaz, 1), Soham Das (0) lost to Tejas Bakre (1), Enamul Hossain (Ban, 1) bt Vedadri K (0), Muralidharan R (.5) drew Nurlan Ibraev (Kaz, .5), Abdula-Al Rakib (Ban, 1) bt Masuda Begum (Ban, 1), Sumit Kumar Srivastava (0) lost to R Balasubramanium (1), Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (1) bt Prashant Kumar (1), Aziz A Mhate (0) lost to D V Prasad (1), Abhijeet Gupta (1) bt B P Santanu Gohin (0).