Indian challenge ends

NEW DELHI: The Indian challenge in the Women's world chess championship ended when Russia's Svetlana Matveeva shocked S. Vijayalakshmi in 31 moves to win their two-game pre-quarterfinals 1.5-0.5 at Ekaterinburg, Russia, on Thursday.

The Indian was calling the shots with black pieces until the 24th move but the exchange of one of the rooks allowed Svetlana to wreck havoc with her queen and rook. A hapless Vijayalakshmi gave up when she faced an inevitable checkmate. The players had drawn their first game in just 17 moves on Wednesday.

Vijayalakshmi joined compatriots K. Humpy and S. Meenakshi on the casualty list. Meenakshi had lost in the first round and Humpy was shown the door in the second.