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Koneru Humpy brings smiles on Indians' faces

Manuel Aaron

The GM wins individual women's rapid event

— Photo: PTI

GOLDEN GIRL: Koneru Humpy came up with a dominating performance to claim the gold in women's rapid chess event on Monday

Doha: Nineteen-year old Koneru Humpy of Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) did India proud by winning the individual women's rapid chess championship, which concluded here on Monday night. Humpy gave India its first gold medal in the 15th Asian Games.

In the men's section Grandmaster Murtas Kazhgaleyev of Kazakhstan became the champion. In the last round he subdued a revitalised Sasikiran who enjoyed a big advantage for quite a while and could have easily salvaged a draw. The Indian needed a win to have a chance at the bronze medal but did not plan his attack well and was eventually beaten.

Sasikiran had beaten Grandmasters Utut Adianto of Indonesia in the morning and Wang Yue of China in the afternoon. Sasikiran finished 13th.

Harikrishna 11th

Harikrishna ended the tournament with a victory over Iranian Grandmaster Ghaem Maghami, but he was out of the race earlier when he had lost the penultimate round game to Vietnam's Dao Thien Hai who clinched the silver medal. Harikrishna finished 11th.

Humpy had a very good tournament beating all her opponents confidently except China's Zhao Xue. The Chinese finished second, just half a point behind the Indian. The media mobbed Humpy as soon as she came out of the playing arena. Humpy's mother Koneru Latha has been with her throughout the tournament.

Zhu Chen, former World women's champion playing for Qatar won the bronze medal with 6 points. She was 1.5 points behind Zhao Xue.

The medal winners:

Men: 1. M. Kazhgaleyev (Kaz) 7.5; 2-3. Dao Thien Hai (Vie), Bu Xiangzhi (Chn) 7 each.

Women: 1. Koneru Humpy (Ind) 8; 2. Zhao Xue (Chn) 7.5; 3. Zhu Chen (Qat) 6.

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