Updated April 22nd, 2024 at 12:50 IST

Indian grandmaster Koneru Humpy finishes second in FIDE Women’s Candidate Tournament

When it counted most, Indian grandmaster Koneru Humpy defeated Chinese player Tingjie Lei to place second in the women candidates event with better tiebreak.

Koneru Humpy | Image: X/@chesscom_in
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D Gukesh is undeniably one of the biggest hype of the moment after he secured a grand win at the FIDE Candidates Tournament at Toronto. For an 17-year-old Indian grandmaster from Chennai, it is a matter of pride in the country as he has become the youngest challenger to become a World Championship contender. But in terms of the Women's Candidates, the Indian contingent had a strong hold as Koneru Humpy secured the second position in the Women's Candidates tournament. 

Also Read: Very Stressful... Felt the nerves': D Gukesh sheds light on his historic win at FIDE Candidates

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Koneru Humpy finishes 2nd at Women's Candidates, R Vaishali stands 4th

When it counted, Indian grandmaster Koneru Humpy delivered the goods, upsetting China's Tingjie Lei, the previous joint leader, to place second in the women candidates event via superior tiebreak. However, Zhongyi Tan of China emerged victorious, having had to settle for a draw with Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine. With nine points overall, Tan was 1.5 points ahead of his closest competitors, Humpy, Lei, and Vaishali, who placed second through fourth, respectively.

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Humpy was only scoring 2.5 points from seven games at the halfway point. However, he put in a fantastic effort to score five points from the final seven games, matching Vaishali's even lower performance of 2.5 points from nine games.

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Humpy, playing black versus Lei, worked a convoluted middle game out of a Nimzo Indian defence, and Lei produced a magnificent queen sacrifice that required precise execution. When the Chinese made a calculation error, Humpy profited and used her two rooks to defeat the white team's rook and bishop in a victorious endgame.

Also Read: 'His rivals failed to...': Viswanathan Anand reveals why D Gukesh stood out among other Grandmasters

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The true star of the day was R Vaishali, who defeated Kateryna Lagno to win five straight races, tying for second place until falling short on a tiebreak.

Vaishali, playing as black, was up against Lagno, who early in the middle game sacrificed a piece to launch an attack on the black king. To keep the dynamics going, the Indian, however, was up to the challenge of defence and returned the additional material. When Lagno made a mistake on her thirty-first turn, Vaishali gained the upper hand. She coasted home after forty-five moves, never looking back.

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(With PTI Inputs)

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Published April 22nd, 2024 at 12:16 IST