Koneru Humpy pulled off a thumping victory over Nana Dzagnidze, one of the top players in the women’s circuit, as India A defeated third-seeded Georgia 3-1 in the sixth-round match of the women’s section at the 44th Chess Olympiad in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, on Wednesday.
Apart from Humpy, R Vaishali also defeated a higher-rated player in Lela Javakhisvili while Tania Sachdev and Harika Dronavalli secured draws to help India win the match.
Humpy, by the middle-game, was in complete command with one passed pawn pushed to the sixth and her queen, bishop and rooks threatening to grab more material. Playing cautiously, she periodically forced the exchange of pieces and Dzagnidze resigned on the 42nd turn when the Indian’s bishop and queen threatened to win a piece.
“I am not thinking of medals at this stage of the tournament as we still have to play many more tough teams like Ukraine and so on. Our team spirit is high and whenever in need of victory, always any one player from the team would shine,” Humpy said.
Humpy, wielding Whites, later admitted that she was completely surprised by the choice of Benoni defence by Nana and played a couple of dubious moves in the Opening. Dzagnidze got a pleasant position but it soon turned ugly with some precise positional play by Humpy who got her act together.
“I am playing after two-and-a-half years and really struggled in the first few. Today too my game was long as usual, ” she added.
On the other hand, Vaishali and Javakhishvili battled in the Spanish Opening with the former on the aggressive side. Play was focussed on the queen-side for most part and Vaishali sacrificed a rook for a bishop on the 17th turn and netted two pieces for it. She pocketed a point after 36 moves.
“It is a very important win against Georgia, more so as we head into the rest day tomorrow [on Thursday]. Initially there was some pressure as we were short on time but by the middle game it was fine,” India A women’s team coach Abhijit Kunte commented after the win.
The team has shot into sole lead with six victories to total 12 points.
Romania, the other overnight joint leader with India and Georgia, was held to a 2-2 draw by Ukraine whereas Azerbaijan defeated Kazakhstan with a 3-1 score while Poland whitewashed Serbia 4-0.
Meanwhile, D Gukesh once again produced a sensational performance as he carved his blistering sixth successive victory but his efforts went in vain as India B lost to Armenia by 1.5-2.5 in the open section.
Nihal Sarin drew on the second board while Adhiban B and Raunak Sadhwani conceded losses.
India C, on the other hand, registered a 3.5-1.5 win over Lithuania while second-seeded India A was held to a 2-2 draw by Uzbekistan.
India A against Uzbekistan (2-2)
GM Abdusattorov lost GM Harikrishna;
GM Vidit drew GM Yakubboev;
GM Sindarov drew GM Erigaisi;
GM Sasikiran lost to GM Vokhidov
India B lost to Armenia(1.5 - 2.5)
GM Gukesh beat GM Sargissian;
GM Melkumyan drew GM Nihal;
GM Adhiban lost to GM Ter-Sahakyan;
GM Sadhwani lost to GM Hovhannisyan
India C beat Lithuania (3.5-0.5)
GM Ganguly drew GM Stremavicius
FM Juksta lost GM Sethuraman
GM Gupta won GM Pultinevicius
GM Kazakouski won GM Puranik
India A beat Georgia (3-1)
GM Koneru beat GM Dzagnidze;
GM Batsiashvili drew GM Harika;
IM Vaishali beat IM Javakhishvili;
IM Melia drew IM Tania;
India B Czech Republic (2 - 2)
WGM Movsesian drew WGM Vantika;
IM Padmini drew WGM Worek;
WGM Pilsova drew WGM Gomes;
WGM Divya drew WGM Petrova;
India C Australia (3 -1 )
WGM Ryjanova drew IM Karavade;
WGM Nandhidhaa WIM Richards;
WFM Phan lost to WIM Sahithi;
WIM Vishwa won WFM Nguyen;