Indian ladies dazzle in Hyderabad

by ChessBase
10/15/2002 – The FIDE World Cup in Hyderabad, India, has seen top seeds Ivanchuk and Morozevich bowing out in the preliminaries, while Vishy Anand came back after a shock loss to compatriot K. Sasikiran to qualify for the quarterfinals. But the stars are the women players Meenakshi Subbaraman and Koneru Humpy. Read all about it in Manisha Mohite's richly illustrated report from Hyderabad.

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FIDE World Chess Cup, Hyderabad

Report by Manisha Mohite

If you want to have a peek at Indian film stars then it is not the right time at the sprawling 22,000 acres of the Ramoji Film City, which is the largest studio complex in the world. The city is all spruced and dressed to play host to the stars of the chequered board at the ongoing World Chess Cup here.

A Mexican & a Japanese garden, Mughal Garden, Tea Garden, a mud village, lush greenery and fantastic waterfalls. And one does not really have to think why the favourites are fumbling? Morozevich and Ivanchuk, the only other 2700 plus rated players besides Anand were clearly distracted it appears!

The Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad

Hyderabad does not exactly dish out delicious memoirs for Viswanathan Anand (like the famous Hyderabadi Biryani). He certainly has had outings here that must be haunting him even to this day. Remember the disaster against Gata Kamsky in 1994? Two up, two games to go, lost both, lost the ensuing tiebreak games and phew, goodbye Hyderabad!

Even the Airline (Modiluft) that carried Anand back home from Hyderabad has closed down since!

Coming back here, Anand had mentally packed his bags again after a disastrous loss against compatriot Krishnan Sasikiran in the second game of the preliminaries. Two victories and a draw in the final round against Hamdouchi today and he had to spend quite a few anxious moments. “There is no point in trying to squeeze a win in such position”, said Anand, adding, “I just yielded to the logic of the position”.

Vishy Anand speaks to the journalists

Quite a few players sat pretty going into the final game of the prelims. To name a few, Jaan Ehlvest, Bartlomiej Macieja and Giovanni Vescovi looked almost certain to breeze through. Draws in the final round however put paid to their chances and we have quite a few unexpected quarter finalists.

Giovanni Vescovi analysing his game

Morozevich has the dubious distinction of finishing first from the bottom amongst all the 24 players in four groups. Losing to both Indian youngsters, Pentyala Harikrishna and Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Morozevich will surely have to part with quite a few Elo points. Life however will go on!

Postgame analysis and discussions in Hyderabad

Vassily Ivanchuk clearly was not concentrating on chess and it surprised everyone that he offered a draw after just 10 moves to Macieja after having lost a game. Today, trying too hard in a pawn down position where the players had opposite colour bishops, backfired. Chuky was seen posing for photographs with fans after his ouster.

Koneru Humpy (right) with her mother

The women’s section however sprang a major surprise in the form of 15-year-old GM Koneru Humpy, who never set a foot wrong in her home state. A perfect tally of four points in as many outings had Anand quipping ”Maybe I should hire her as my coach”. The glamorous Alexandra Kosteniuk however failed to make her presence felt over the board and even out of it!

Meenakshi Subbaraman (till now known more as the younger sister of India’s first WGM Viayalakshmi), a last minute replacement for a drop-out defied all odds and expectations to qualify from Group”D’, starting with a sensational victory over Zhu Chen in the first round. Zhu was amongst the major casualty to miss a quarter final berth. Antonaeta Stefanova was another heavy score along with Humpy to notch up 4.5 points.
The guy most popular in the media room has been Nigel Short. His witty remarks lighten up an usually sober media room.

The technicalities have been par excellence. The Chief Minister and also the chairman of organizing committee, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu flew in on a chopper for the inauguration and landed right in front of the dais.

The venue is a good hour’s drive out of the city and arrangements have been made to commute the chess enthusiasts to watch the games. Huge electronic screens have been set up to watch the games. To sum it up a perfect setting!

Results of the men's group

Download all games played so far

The quarter final line up is as follows
  • Malakhov Vladimir vs Anand Viswanathan
  • Ye Jiangchuan vs Kasimdzhanov Rustam
  • Short Nigel vs Dreev Alexey
  • Beliavsky Alexander vs Rublevsky Sergey.
  • Krush Irina vs Svetlana Maaatveeva
  • Koneru Humpy vs Li Ruofan
  • Wang Pin vs Stefanova Antoaneta
  • Meenakshi S vs Xu Yuhua
  • Quarterfinals: Four two-game matches October 15th-16th.
  • Semifinals: Two two-game matches October 17th-18th.
  • Finals: One two-game match October 19th-20th 2002.

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