Harika To Play Mariya Muzychuk
By Arvind Aaron
All went well for Koneru Humpy until move 35 in the second tie-break game of the fourth round game against Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine.
When Humpy swung her queen from Qa3-c1, Muzychuk played Nd3 winning in a few moves. Defeat came in a few more moves and top seed Humpy was sadly eliminated from the FIDE World Women’s Championship.
Humpy came back to level the classical score at 1-1 and force a tie-break. In the tie-break, Humpy dominated the first one but was held to a draw in a rook ending. Humpy’s extra pawn was a rook pawn and Muzychuk drew the rook ending easily.
In the second game, Humpy was two pawns up and coasting towards a victory when fortune turned upside down for her on move 35. Humpy has to wait for the next world championship to fulfil her chess dream.
Muzychuk faces Harika in the semifinals. In the other semifinals, veteran Pia Cramling of Sweden faces Natalia Pogonina of Russia. Pogonina came from behind to defeat Zhao Xue 1-1, 1.5-0.5. Cramling beat Anna Muzychuk 1-1, 1-1, 1.5-0.5 in the second set of tie-break games.
The winner will be decided on April 7. World women’s champion Hou Yifan of China will face this winner in a match.