Khanty Mansiysk (Russia): The shadow-boxing in the World Women's Chess Championship continued as the second game of the mini-match ended in a draw between Anna Ushenina of Ukraine and Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria.
While Antoaneta tried restrained aggression in the first game of the match, Ushenina was not quite up to it in her first final ever and signed truce in a mere 17 moves playing white in the second game.
The scores remain tied at 1-1 with just two games to go and experts are predicting 2004 champion Stefanova to come hard at the Ukrainian in the third game where the Bulgarian will play white.
While Stefanova is trying to win her second championship ever, it's a new playground for Ushenina who was at best a declared a wild hope at the start of the 64-players event.
Playing true to her style, Stefanova had obtained slight edge in the first game of the match but Ushenina neutralized following a series of exchanges in a Queen's gambit game.
In the second game, Stefanova played black and had little to worry as Ushenina did not try for any complications with her white pieces.
The second game is indication enough that the Ukrainian was trying to get in the groove of fighting her first world championship title and as things stand, the battle is level in the USD 4,50,000 prize money championship.
The Indian challenge had ended with the ouster of D Harika in the semifinals. Harika did well to beat Zhao Xue in the quarters but ran into a highly motivated Stefanova in the next round before signing her exit papers.
The champion this year will also get a match against Yifan Hou of China in 2013 for the world championship crown. Yifan had exited along with highest rated Indian Koneru Humpy in the second round of the championship.