RUSSIA: India’s GM Koneru Humpy will take on Natalia Zhukova of Ukraine in the second round of the Women’s World chess championship now in progress.
After winning the first round with an easy 2-0 whitewash against lower ranked Denise Frick of South Africa, Zhukova will be a much tougher challenge for Humpy with better practice as she beat World junior girls’ champion Guo Qi of China in the first round.
GM D Harika will also face a tough opponent in Elena Danielian of Armenia after beating compatriot Soumya Swaminathan in the first round. Danielian showed excellent nerves in her come-from-behind victory against Sopiko Khukhashvili of Georgia.
After sharing a victory each under normal games, Danielian suffered a defeat in the first game under rapid chess but quickly levelled scores winning the second game to set up the next set of tie-breaker which had 10 minutes for both players.
The Armenian won both games here to earn her right to play Harika. Humpy starts a big favourite against Zhukova but the Ukrainian is very experienced player.
While Zhukova will try to showcase her preparation, Humpy is more likely to fall back on her skills which has made her a force to reckon with in women’s chess.
Harika patiently waited for her second round opponent to be declared as Danielian was involved in an extended contest and once Danielian won, Harika appeared ready for the task ahead.
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– GM Susan Polgar