Despite finishing fourth, India had plenty to cheer for at the Women’s World Team Chess Championship at Chengdu in China. D Harika and Koneru Humpy came yp with sterling individual performances to win a silver and a bronze medal respectively.
Harika and Humpy’s medals will come as a huge source of consolation for an Indian battalion, which missed out on a lot of opportunities in the tournament. That a medal was always within touching distance throughout the tournament, will only add to the team’s disappointment. India was denied the bronze medal by China, which was pipped India by an agonising margin of one point.
China was defeated by Georgia in the final round and had to settle for the Bronze. In hindsight, a fourth place finish can be seen as a huge gain in itself, seeing a how India entered the tournament on a wild card.
Georgia, on the other hand, put on a spectacular show, as it earned 17 points to clinch the Gold medal. Against China in the final round, Georgia drew one match while winning all remaining contests. Russia, which beat United States in the final round, bagged the Silver medal after finishing with 15 points.
Playing with white pawns, D Harika was ruthless in her campaign against Lilit Galojan. The only occasion when Harika's position in the game was seriously threatened was when Galojan seemed to have found an answer to the former's onslaught. But, the Indian managed to find a way through her opponent's defences to clinch the game with a minute to spare.
Final Round Results: India (10) beat Armenia (8) 3-1 ((Lilit Mkrtchina beat Koneru Humpy; D Harika beat Lilit Galojan; Maria Kursova lost to Padmini Rout; Soumya Swaminathan beat Susanna Gaboyan); China (11) lost to Georgia (17) 1.5-2.5; Kazakhstan (9) drew with Poland (6) 2-2; Russian (15) beat USA (5) 3.5-0.5; Ukraine (10) beat Egypt (0) 3.5-0.5
*The numbers in the brackets following the names of the countries signify the number of points earned by the respective teams.