Koneru Humpy crashed out of the World Women's chess championship after drawing the second game of the semifinal match against nemesis Yifan Hao of China.
Having lost the first game of the semis, Humpy needed a victory in the return game to stay afloat in the championship but, missing out on her chances, the Indian could only manage a draw translating in to a 0.5-1.5 defeat for her.
In the last World Championship at Nalchik in Russia too, Humpy had suffered a similar defeat in the semis at the hands of the same opponent.
The ouster of Humpy means end of the road for the Indians in the Championship and it will now be an all Chinese affair for the first time in the history of World Championships.
The other semifinal between Chinese duo of Zhao Xue and Ruan Lufei, meanwhile, was stretched to the tiebreaker following another quick draw between the two.
Humpy had troubles negotiating the first phase of the match against Yifan who certainly appeared to be better prepared than Humpy. It was Berling defense by Humpy that cost her the full point in the first game and in the second, it was a Sicilian through transposition that the Indian has not quite been facing lately.
Yifan had to pause for quite sometime when Humpy went for the Torre attack with white pieces after opening with the queen pawn and in fact it worked out fine when the Chinese was able to transpose to a Sicilian defense in a few moves time. The set up chosen by Humpy was a mixture of Najdorf and Classical variation and Yifan felt the heat after she decided to part with a couple of pawns to initiate an attack against the king.
Humpy, and the chess pundits, believed that she had real chances with her extra material but as things unfolded, Yifan was able to muster just the right kind of counter-play to liquidate to a rook and pawns endgame where only white could be worse. Humpy made the right decision to take the draw in 45 moves.
The Indian had to be content with a 20000 USD prize money for her exploits in the championship. 20 per cent of this amount goes to FIDE which means the net take home for Humpy will be 16000 USD (Around Rs 7,00,000).
In the other semifinal, Ruan Lufei employed the Slav defense to restore parity against higher ranked Zhao Xue. The queens got exchanged early and the players decided to repeat moves and agreed for the draw in just 22 moves.
Results semifinals: Zhao Xue (Chn) drew with Ruan Lufei (Chn) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Koneru Humpy (Ind) drew with Yifan Hao (Chn) 0.5-1.5 – Yifan Hao advances to final.