Humpy shocked in first game of World Championship chess semi-final

September 11th, 2008 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Nalchik (Russia), Sep 11 (IANS) Top seed GM Koneru Humpy of India was shocked in the first game of her semi-final against 14-year-old Hou Yifan of China on a day of upsets as the Women’s World Chess Championships moved towards the closing stages.In the other semi-final played Wednesday, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia outplayed her Swedish opponent GM Pia Cramling on the white side of a French Rubinstein and forced her resignation in 36 moves. Cramling was favoured against Kosteniuk.

Humpy playing White in a closed Ruy Lopez, got her bishop trapped and gave up after 55 moves.

The first day of the semi-final ended with minor upsets, as both Yifan and Kosteniuk were lower rated than their rivals Humpy and Cramling.

The Yifan-Koneru game opened in a more conventional fashion, with the popular Breyer variation of the Ruy Lopez.

The young Chinese doesn’t pay too much attention to the openings coding - she “didn’t know” what Scheveningen Sicilian is when asked by a media person - but she surely understood the topic and theory.

After the queen’s exchange following the 28th move, it was downhill for Humpy. The Queen’s exchange highlighted the disharmony of Black pieces. Losing a pawn was not the worst to happen - more problems appeared when Black had to fight against the fork on f6. Yifan earned a piece and ruthlessly converted it into a full point.

In the main French Defence, Cramling took up a slightly unusual line. Everything developed fine for Black until Cramling decided to push her c-pawn. It proved later that only White benefits from that. Kosteniuk found another weakness in Black’s camp on the e-pawn and she attacked it vigorously and brought the advantage home.

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