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Unbeaten Humpy is National champion

Source: PTI
November 19, 2003 18:53 IST
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Top seed Koneru Humpy of Andhra Pradesh made sure of the National women's 'A' chess title by remaining at the top with 15.5 points after the 16th and penultimate round of the championship in Kozikhode on Wednesday.

Still unconquered, Humpy defeated Kruttika Nadig of Maharashtra, whose Grunfeld defence lasted only 25 moves.

The Andhra girl, who is the reigning Asian women's champion, has created a record of sorts in the tournament by becoming the first woman player in the country to win more than 10 consecutive rounds.

Taking the second spot behind Humpy is S Vijayalakshmi of Indian Airlines, who has 14 points after overcoming Saheli Nath's Ruy Lopez opening in a well-executed Morphy defence in 46 moves.

With both Humpy and Vijayalaksmi guaranteed of the first two positions, an intense fight is on for the third and fourth spots. The top four will represent the country in the Olympiad, to be held in Spain in October 2004.

The runner-up in the Asian women's meet held here recently, Dronavalli Harika of Andhra Pradesh and latest entrant to the WGM club, Nisha Mohota (LIC), with 10.5 points each, and S Meenakshi (TN) and Eesha Karvade (MAH), with 9.5 points apiece, will fight it out for the third and fourth positions.

In case of a tie, the placing will be decided by the FIDE recognized Koya system of tie-breaking rules.

Though all the other games had only academic interest, C V Rajalakshmi (TN), who was at the bottom of the table with only 1.5 points, scalped defending champion and state mate Aarthie Ramaswamy to cause a flutter.

Aarthie, who has looked totally out-of-form during the tournament, resorted to defensive tactics, which only helped Rajalakshmi, who deployed the English opening, to upstage her rival's King's Indian defence in 44 moves.

Earlier, Nisha, who needed an outright win to remain among the top four to qualify for the coming Olympiad, played well to encounter the Queen's gambit of Meenakshi in 68 moves.

Karvade used her Reti opening quite effectively to force a draw with the more experienced Anupama Gokhale (BP) in only 14 moves.

In the other games, Delhi's Tania Sachdev beat Swati Ghate (LIC), while Humpy's sister Koneru Chandrahawsa lost to M R Sangeetha (TN). Sai Meera (IB) lost to Bhagyashree Thipsay (IDBI).

Results (16th round): Tania Sachdev (DEL) 8.5 beat Swati Ghate (LIC) 7, Saheli Nath (BEN) 6 lost to S Vijayalakshmi (IA) 14, Koneru Humpy (AP) 15.5 beat Kruttika Nadig (MAH) 7.5, S Meenakshi (IA) 9.5 lost to Nisha Mohota (LIC) 10.5, Koneru Chandrahawsa(AP) 5.5 lost to M R Sangeetha (TN) 3.5, C V Rajalakshmi (TN) 2.5 beat Aarthie Ramaswamy (TN) 7.5, Y Prathiba (TN) 6.5 drew with D Harika (AP) 10.5, Eesha Karvade(MAH) 9.5 drew with Anupama Gokhale (BP) 7.5, Sai Meera (IB) 5.5 lost to Bagyashree Thipsay (IDBI) 7.

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