Tirana match starts with a draw
Hari Hara Nandanan
TNN | Nov 15, 2011, 07.44AM IST

CHENNAI: The first game produced enough fireworks and Honeru Humpy looked solid with her preparations to get a 80-move draw against defending champion Hou Yifan of China at Tirana ( Albania) in the women’s world chess championship on Monday.

The game lasted four and a half hours and Humpy, with white, showed she is game for a fight in the long match with nine more games to go. Humpy kept an extra pawn in the end but that was not enough in a rook and pawn ending. The second game with Humpy having black would show how far the Indian has prepared for this match. The Catalan opening had something for white inititally but not enough to press ahead.

White kept some pressure along the queen-bishop file. Hou tried to steer the position to a sharp line but in the process fell behind the clock. Around move 20, the Chinese spent some half an hour for two moves to get a compact position, giving Humpy a 15-minute lead.

But Hou created enough complications to test Humpy and after 25 moves, the clock told a different story with the Indian falling behind by 20 minutes. However, by then the position had got simplified to a queen, rook and same coloured bishop ending with the search engines showing an equal score.

Of course, Humpy had to check the lines of threat after Hou pushed her queenside pawn. After a few testing moves and the exchange of bishops and queens, they shook hands. Earlier, the drawing of the color for the first game was done during the opening ceremony on Sunday night.

The players were offered to choose from two parcels and Hou got a black queen. So Humpy started with white pieces in the first game. After the opening ceremony Hou Yifan and Koneru Humpy inspected the playing venue and the technical facilities. After long discussions Hou Yifan chose a red chair while Humpy preferred a blue one.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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