FIDE World Chess Championship, New Delhi

Lautier Smiles

By S.Sujatha in New Delhi   Dec 05 2000

Lautier smiling!!! Looks odd after his first round exit? But he has every right to smile, why smile?! even laugh and go partying. His wife Skripchenkovo-Lautier is through to the last eight stage in the women’s section. Today in the tie-break she defeated Favorite Galliamova to catch the spectator attention.
Galliamova actually was holding an advantage position after winning the first regular game. She was a sure bet to qualify to the next stage, but then she proved all odds wrong and in turn lost the reverse game to play the tiebreak and eventually lose out in her chance to win the world women chess championship.
Lautier embraced his wife soon after her victory and looked very happy. Lautier said, “very good, very happy, she can go quite far” about his wife. He also added, “ Yeah a party today but she has a game tomorrow” when asked whether he is going to enjoy her victory with a party today. He also agreed that this victory has really compensated his loss in the first round here. She added, “I don’t expect anything, just going to prepare for tomorrow” when asked about her chances hereafter.

Galliamova seemed very depressed and said, “crazy”.She later added, “I don’t know, I am sorry” when asked about her game. Ivanchuk too changed a little bit after Galliamova’s loss and looked tense, as he was found after his loss in the round two. But he was soon to normal and started enjoying other games as usual analising with his second.

After Galliamova loss the favorite apart from the Chinese, still remaining in this championship is Zhukova. She today defeated Chinese Xu, Yuhua to reach the fourth round. It actually is a sweet revenge for her since she lost the world cup final to her. She said, “very good chances” when asked about her next match against defending champion Xie Jun.

Peter Leko and Alexander Khalifman really enlightened the proceedings for the 100 odd spectators. Though the spectators mainly were from the player side still every body enjoyed it and even acknowledged Khalifman’s victory with applause. They really played a great match and this one game is enough to bring spectators to their heels and talk about. Though Khalifman seemed to win every game still he drew and the blitz game started with more anticipation. In the first blitz game Khalifman enjoyed a wonderful position and was cruising towards a victory. But
suddenly his plans were not working and he drew it. The second blitz game also was in his favor and he mounted up an excellent attack controlling maximum squares in the board. Leko had to exchange pieces in order to save his game and in the bargain lost a piece. The ending was played accurately by Khalifman and Leko was knocked out of the tournament.

Leko one of the most ambitious youngster in the circuit was very much focussed to win the title. But then he lost to a player whom he defeated convincingly in a match between them in January2000 winning all his games with white pieces.

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