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Indian women back to winning ways

May 31, 2006 20:25 IST

Indian eves could score only a 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan and slipped to joint 13th spot in the Women's Chess Olympiad here.

Grandmaster Koneru Humpy came back strongly after a loss in the previous round to defeat Kazakh top player Dana Aketayeva while D Harika produced a much needed victory over Sofya Zigangirova.

However, Swati Ghate failed to make it a clean sweep going down against untitled Gulmira Dauletova.

At the top of the table, defending champion China held top seed and overnight sole leader Russia to a draw. It turned out to be a big gain for Ukraine who scored a 2.5-0.5 victory over the United States to emerge as the new leader on 21 points with four rounds to go.

The stage is now set for a nail-biting finale for the gold

medal between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia with 20.5 points are followed by distant third Georgia with a tally of 19 points. China and Bulgaria share the next spot on 18.5 while India is far behind on 16.5 points and now need a couple of very big victories to come back in the reckoning for now-elusive medal hopes.

Humpy had to work hard for a victory against Dana Aketayeva who played safely with white pieces. The Indian opted for the Pirc defense and had a level position on board after Aketayeva employed a harmless Fianchetto variation.

Humpy was unpurturbed by exchanges in the middle game and marched her central pawn to create weaknesses in white's position. The queens changed hands on the 45th move giving Humpy a tangible advantage with an extra pawn and she romped home after 63 moves.

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