Indian women hold top seed Ukraine in world women team

Published on April 21, 2015 22:20:44 PM
Chengdu (China): Aided by an excellent victory by Padmini Rout against former world champion Anna Ushenina, the Indian eves played out a draw with top seed Ukrainian women in the third round of world women team chess championship here.

It was the clinical approach by Padmini that stole the limelight on another thrilling day for the Indians who are seeded only fifth against much accomplished teams. And they were in fact close to beating the mighty Ukrainians had Soumya Swaminathan not blundered in a draw-able position against Natalia Zhukova on the fourth board.

Koneru Humpy tricked Anna Muzychuk on the top board by choosing a dangerous variation for which the Ukrainian was averse to and settled for the quickest draw in the championship thus far. Humpy sacrificed her queen to give perpetual checks in what is known as routine theory.

Humpy's easy draw as black raised expectations but Harika misplayed the opening against world champion Maria Muzychuk and had to settle for a quick draw as well. That left everything in the hands of Padmini and Soumya and they did not disappoint in putting up a spirited show.

Padmini suffered for some time in the opening but came out of it unscathed as Ushenina could not put the desired pressure in crunch situation. The Indian fought on brilliantly and equalised and her draw offer was spurned down by the Ukrainian coach. As it happened, Ushenina fell under time pressure and blundered a piece on the 40th move. The rest was child's play for Padmini.