World Women Chess Championship LIVE!

LIVE updates from Nalchik (video added)

Information about the World Women Chess Championship

Official website

Statements: Kirsan Ilymzhinov / Boris Kutin / Arsen Kanokov

General information / Pairings round 1


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Welcome to the live coverage of Women World Chess Championship 2008 on! Every day we will have constant live updates from the capital of Kabardino Balkaria. These updates will be interactive as the audience will have the opportunity to participate, comment, and ask questions through our live chat system.

09:30 CET

We start with the most recent from Nalchik. The President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev has sent a letter to the organizers and the participants in the World Women Chess Championship.

“These days Kabardino Balkaria will host some of the greatest chess talents, which will engage in an honorable fight to demonstrate their skill and mental strength,” says President Medvedev. “I am convinced that this championship will become a true celebration for the lovers of this interesting sport. I wish all the participants success and to the thousands of fans – enjoy this beautiful intellectual game.” he continued.

09:40 CET

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has officially opened the Women`s World Chess Championship 2008 in Nalchik, Kabardino Balkaria. During the pompous ceremony yesterday, local dancers and singers entertained the public and the chess game was also personified through youngsters in costumes. In his welcome speech, President of the Republic, Arsen Kanokov expressed the gratitude and hapiness of the republic to have the World Championship in its capital and promised good organization, great interest from the inhabitants, excellent conditions and clean, healthy environment for the tournament. Alexander Zhukov, President of the Russian Chess Federation delivered the greeting address of Dmitriy Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation praising the beautiful, intellectual game and the Russian chess school. He also expressed the belief that the peaceful competition of chess players turns into a real festival of that sport, promoting development and strengthening of international relations among the nations of the chess world.

09:50 CET

Round 1 of the WWCC starts today at 15:00 local time (two hours earlier CET). A few hours before that, photos will be available at the Chessdom photo gallery

10:00 CET

The solid organization of the WWCC 2008 deserves true respect. It is headed by the FIDE President – Kirsan Nikolaevitch Ilyumzhinov, supported by Georgios Makropoulos – FIDE Deputy President and Chairman of the Appeals Committee. The chief arbiter is Zsuzsanna Veroci, and on her team are Mikko Markkula, Evgeni Melikset-Begi, Galina Strutinskaia, and Vyacheslav Khamruev. The appeals committee is Nona Gaprindashvili, Boris Kutin, and Lakhdar Mazouz. The medical commission is headed by Jana Bellin and the press officer is Peter Rajscanyi.

10:15 CET

A day before the start of the competition Elizabeth Paehtz visited a the medical center for children “Duga” (Rainbow) in Nalchik, informed the correspondent from Kabardino Balkaria. There she played a simul with 12 kids.

10:30 CET

If you ever wondered where is Kabardino Balkaria and how does it look like, there is a nice video presentation at the official website. The nature there is beautiful and you can see the highest peak in Europe, Mt. Elbrus

10:50 CET

A side note, at this moment the Final match of the Hungarian Women Chess Championship is going on. Anna Rudolf has won the first game, the second one is later today. We will be following closely the development there as well. The winner in the final will participate at the Chess Olympiad in Dresden.

11:00 CET

As our readers requested more information about Nalchik, here is it. The capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, the city of Nalchik is in the center of the republic. It is situated at an altitude of 450-600 meters above the sea level, in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains. According to the majority of scientists the city is named after the Nalchik River, on the shores of which it is located. The word “Nalchik” means “small horseshoe” in Kabardian. Nalchik covers an area of 150 square kilometers of which 1000 hectares is occupied by green belt. The population of the city according to the Census data of 2002 is 272 thousand people.

Kabardino-Balkar Republic was established in January, 1991. Kabardino-Balkaria is a multinational republic, represented by more than 100 ethnic groups. The Republic consists of 10 administrative-territorial districts, 8 cities and towns, two of them are under republican’s jurisdiction, 4 semi urban centers. There are also 113 rural settlement administrations.
The republic is situated on the northern flank of the central part of the Caucasus and adjoining Kabardian plain.
Kabardino-Balkar Republic borders Georgia, Stavropol region, the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania and Karachay-Chercess Republic.
The republic is rather peculiar due to natural contrasts, original relief that combines dry steppes and semidesert zones in the north and floriferous plains of foothills, luxuriant alpestrine meadows and mountains, cliffs and unapproachable glaciers covered with everlasting snow in the south. There is a number of unique natural complexes and sights on the territory of Kabardino-Balkaria.

Currently, there is increased police presence due to the political situation south of Kabardino Balkaria. However, no single incident has been reported and everything is calm. People are very very friendly (a true example of good hosts) and they are awlays ready to answer all the questions and help. The city is full of posters announcing the championship and everyone is awaiting its start.

If you have any questions about the WWCC 2008, please, send them at our contact form.

11:15 CET

Many young talents will have a chance to show their skill in the first round of the competition. In the battle of the youngest Yifan Hou (who got her last GM norm just a few weeks ago) will play Mona Khaled from Egypt. They are both 14 and eager for victory. The rating difference of over 500 ELO points gives clear advantage to Yifan Hou, but Khaled will surely play her best as well.

The World Junior Champion for 2007 WGM Vera Nebolsina will start against the current World Junior Champion IM Harika Dronavalli.

WGM Anna Muzhycuk will play with WGM Maria Velcheva, while IM Anna Ushenina will play with Le Thanh Tu.

11:30 CET

The top seeded Xu Yuhua starts against Anzel Solomons, Humpy Koneru against Yorsa Alaa El Din, while the ex world champion Antoaneta Stefanova will play against Karen Zapata. All 32 boards will be broadcast on the official website and a live chat discussion will be available on in this thread during the games.

11:48 CET

The first photos from the opening ceremony are available at the Chessdom photo gallery

12:00 CET

The live discussion has been activated. Scroll down this page to find it. We will continue posting minute by minute updates, be sure to refresh the page to get them.

12:30 CET

One of the surprises has been uncovered by Madina Dyshekova, the Deputy Prime Minister of KBR and President of KBR Chess Federation. The coronet for the chess queen from the WWCC will be decorated with 46 diamonds and 3 large sapphires. The weight of the coronet will be about 80 gr. and will be a combination of the white and yellow gold. It will be produced by the master-jeweler of the open joint-stock company “Terek-Almaz” Saphar Tarchokov.

13:00 CET

And the games are on! The first move on board 1 was 1.e4 by Xu Yuhua.

13:15 CET

Besides on the boards of the Georgian players, there are no moves from Karen Zapata, Irina Krush, Marie Sebag, Le Thanh Tu….

13:19 CET

Currently there is a press conference with President of Kabardino-Balkaria and FIDE President. The editor-in-chief of is there and will report for you live.

President of Kabardino-Balkarian Republic Arsen Kanokov is hoping that the WWCC will encourage strong chess development in the Republic. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov thanked Arsen Kanokov and organizing committee for the “fantastic achievements in preparation”.

13:25 CET

There is an extreme interest from the media in the country, the press conference hall is full. Expect the photos from there soon.

13:30 CET

First results are already a fact, Antoaneta Stefanova, Anna Gasik, and Elena Sedina win as Karen Zapata, Marie Sebag, Irina Krush did not show up.

13:35 CET

Kadimova – Paehtz is on move 1, but both players are there and playing.

13:40 CET

The press conference continues. Both presidents are encouraging young people to play chess and do sports.

13:41 CET

It is very probable that Antoaneta Stefanova appears in front of media in 20 minutes in the press conference hall.

13:43 CET

The fastest moving game is between Mogontuul and Rajlich, they are already at move 15.

13:50 CET

Yifan Hou is the first one to get serious advantage. This clearly shows the young Chinese intentions for this championships. She used the WJCC as a practice and participated in the junior section to prepare for the World Women Chess Championship.

14:10 CET

Press conference with Antoaneta Stefanova has started, as her 1st round opponent is missing. Stefanova said she is delighted with the opening ceremony. However, she did not know her opponent will be missing.

14:15 CET

On a question from the journalists about her rating jump in the past year,Antoaneta Stefanova replied, “I been around and above 2500 for some 10 years or so, and the real question is how I managed to lose so many points.” Since recently Stefanova is working with GM Vladimir Georgiev and her form is returning.

14:30 CET

Muminova and Kosintseva is the fastest game at the moment. They are past the 20th move and blitzing on through the middlegame.

14:43 CET

Security measures at the playing hall are reported to be at highest – both security for players and anti-cheating measures. Photo and video taking is allowed during certain moments of the games. Each day 6 players will give press conferences, as detailed in their contracts. Today the sure participants are Stefanova, Koneru, and Cramling.

15:00 CET

Yifan Hou is wrapping up her game and this will be the first real result of the day.

15:05 CET

Tania Sachdev is heading towards time trouble. At move 20 she has 20 minutes left. Her opponent Tan Zhongyi has 51 minutes. Other players in similar time trouble are Marisa Zuriel, Tatiana Kosintseva, and Valentina Gobulenko, while Atousa Pourkashiyan has only 12 minutes for 20 moves.

15:30 CET

The tension of the first round is obvious and many games are heading towards time trouble. This could bring surprising results in a blitz action.

15:45 CET

Antoaneta Stefanova shared her satisfaction from the opening ceremony with the journalists. The photos from the ceremony are now available at the opening ceremony photo gallery. You can see the interest of the local audience at this photo.

15:50 CET

In a rook endgame Hoang Thanh Thrang and Arribas Robiana are the first to pass move 40. This is the first time control and time has been added to their clocks.

16:00 CET

Second official result of the day – Ilaha Kadimova – Elizabeth Paehtz 1:0

16:01 CET

Aleksandra Kosteniuk also won, as the time pressure was too much for Pourkashiyan.

16:11 CET

Humpy Koneru scores a full point after driving Alaa El Din into the corner.

16:17 CET

Anna Muzychuk is an exchange up and more time on the clock, she seems to be heading to victory.

16:30 CET

The time trouble and the difficult position was too much for Valentina Gobulenko, and Viktoria Cmylite is the next one to achieve victory.

16:33 CET

Until now 3 wins for white, 3 for black and no draws.

16:35 CET

And right as we said that, here is the first draw of the day. Mkrtchian – Eva Moser 1/2 – 1/2

16:37 CET

Harika Dronavalli gets the second victory for India for today. She won her game against Vera Nebolsina in 34 moves.

16:44 CET editor-in-chief Goran Urosevic talked to IM Harika after the game. She believes that white made a couple of bad moves that allowed her to activate the pieces. The exchange of d4 pawn for c6 allowed her to advance to d4 and block white pawn on e2 which became very weak and a burden on white’s legs.

17:10 CET

Other results from the last minutes: Cramling, Pia (SWE)

1 – 0

Sanchez Castillo, Sarai (VEN), Zhao, Xue (CHN)

1 -0

Zuriel, Marisa (ARG), Zakurdjaeva, Irina (RUS)

0 – 1

Ruan, Lufei (CHN), Ushenina, Anna (UKR)

1 – 0

Le Thanh Tu (VIE), Kosintseva, Nadezhda (RUS)

1 – 0

Mohota, Nisha (IND), Mongontuul, Bathuyang (MGL)

1 – 0

Rajlich, Iweta (POL)

17:21 CET

The second draw of the day is Zhang Jilin (CHN) 1/2 – 1/2 Gaponenko, Inna (UKR)

17:23 CET

Official information about the players who did not show up from the Chessdom correspondent: Zapata, Karen (PER); Sebag, Marie (FRA); Chiburdanidze, Maya (GEO); Krush, Irina (USA); Javakhishvili, Lela (GEO); Gvetadze, Sopio (GEO); Korbut, Ekaterina (RUS); Bosboom Lanchava, Tea (NED) ; Lomineishvili, Maia (GEO) ; Khukhashvili, Sopiko (GEO) ; Khurtsidze, Nino (GEO)

17:25 CET

The games in progress are Xu, Yuhua (CHN)- Solomons, Anzel (RSA); Muminova, Nafisa (UZB) – Kosintseva, Tatjana (RUS); Muzychuk, Anna (SLO) – Velcheva, Maria (BUL); Zhukova, Natalia (UKR) – Rohonyan, Katherine (USA); Foisor, Sabina-Francesca (ROM) – Socko, Monika (POL); Kachiani-Gersinska, Ketino (GER) – Shen, Yang (CHN); Tan Zongyi (CHN) – Tania, Sachdev (IND); Bojkovic, Natasa (SRB) – Ju, Wenjun (CHN)

17:30 CET

Xu, Yuhua (CHN)- Solomons, Anzel (RSA) 1-0, one more decisive result.

17:35 CET

Third draw of the day Kachiani-Gersinska, Ketino (GER) – Shen, Yang (CHN) 1/2 – 1/2

17:37 CET

Zhukova, Natalia (UKR) – Rohonyan, Katherine (USA), a victory for the American player.

17:41 CET

Legendary GM Evgeny Vasjukov is commenting games for the audience in the conference hall.

17:41 CET

Anna Ushenina said for Chessdom that after the regular opening, her opponent made a few inaccuracies which allowed White to gain a strong initiative. Anna was already significantly better when Black blundered and ran into checkmate.

Tomorrow she is having birthday and she is planning to modestly celebrate with friends.

17:50 CET

Anna Muzychuk won against Maria Velcheva after being an exchange up for more than 35 moves.

18:00 CET

Video from the opening ceremony at official website

18:15 CET

If you haven’t noticed yet, there is a completely new chess song in the video above :)

18:17 CET

Foisor, Sabina-Francesca (ROM) 1/2 – 1/2 Socko, Monika (POL)

18:25 CET

With that the games from today are finished. Some do not show in the live games panel, but later on this will be fixed. Tomorrow the new system will function correctly and you will be able to enjoy all the games. Do not miss the coverage on as well, as we will bring you many photos, videos and direct interviews with the players after the games. Later tonight you will have a detailed report with many many interesting moments from today.

Stay tuned for minute by minute updates