Sun-Herald, September 2 2001
Humpy Koneru was only a few months old when Viswanathan Anand won India's first World Junior (Under 20) title in 1987.
This week the 14-year-old from Vijayawala captured the World Girls' Championship in Athens, outpointing players six years her senior, and her ambitions are boundless.
"[I want] to become World Champion, not Women's World Champion," explained Koneru, who had already won the U/10, 12 and 14 World Girls' titles in 1997, 1998 and 2000.
"I want to win the open World Championship, playing with players like Anand and Kasparov," Koneru added.
Koneru, trained only by her father, became the youngest ever British Women's Champion last year and in June 2001 stunned even herself by scoring her first Grandmaster result at a tournament in Szentgotthard in Hungary.
Koneru's victory in Athens owed something to good fortune, winning from a poor position in the final round and then taking the title on a tie-break from China's Zhao Xue.
Australia's own Zhao - Coffs Harbour 15-year-old Zhao Zong Yuan - started brilliantly in the open World Junior only to fade to just above mid-field while Sydney's Catherine Lip, also 15, found the going tough, performing above her ranking yet still finishing below halfway.
The following game was one of Zhao' better efforts from the second half of the tournament, an almost too easy win over the Irish competitor.
An experiment caused by Zhao not wishing to waste the excess of preparation he had recently being doing (from the White point of view) on the Dragon opening.
6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Qe1!? e5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Bc4 Be6 14.Bc5?
A fatal error in move order. White should preface this move with 14.Ne4, although after 14...Qc7 White should avoid Timman's 15.Ng5? due to 15...Nxe3 16.Nxe6 Qb6! 17.Nxf8 Nxc4 18.Qc3 Qa6! when Black won in a game played in Wijk aan Zee in January between Timman and Fedorov.
14...Qg5+! 15.Kb1 Rfd8 16.Ne4?!
Over-optimistic, although 16.Nxd5 cxd5 17.Bf1 is rather depressing.
16...Qxg2 17.Rg1 Qxf3 18.Rf1 Qxd1+!
Cleverly liquidating to a winning endgame. The rest would not have unduly troubled Zhao.
19.Qxd1 Nc3+ 20.Nxc3 Rxd1+ 21.Rxd1 Bxc4 22.Rd6 Rc8 23.Bxa7 f5 24.a4 e4 25.a5 Be5 26.Rd7 Re8 27.Nd1 f4 28.Nf2 e3 29.Nd3 Bxd3 30.cxd3 Bb8! 31.Bd4 f3 0-1
World Junior U/20 Championships Athens, Greece Leading final scores: Open (89 players, 13 rounds): 1. Acs (Hun) 10; 2eq. Gagunashvili (Geo), Aronian (Arm) 9.5; 4. Ni Hua (Chn) 9... 31eq. Zhao (Aus) 7. Girls (60 players, 13 rounds): 1eq. Koneru (Ind), Zhao Xue (Chn) 9.5; 3eq. Kosintseva (Rus), Gu Xiaobing (Chn) 9... 43eq. Lip (Aus) 5.5.