Drama at World Women Chess Championship round 1 tiebreaks

LIVE updates from Nalchik

Information about the World Women Chess Championship

Official website

Statements: Kirsan Ilymzhinov / Boris Kutin / Arsen Kanokov

General information / Pairings round 1


Live day 1 / Live day 2

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11:00 CET

Welcome to the World Women Chess Championship 2008 round 1 tiebreaks LIVE on Chessdom.com!

11:10 CET

The lucky winners from yesterday with perfect 2,0/2 score are Humpy Koneru, Zhao Xue, Tatjana Kosintseva, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Anna Muzhychuk, Dronavalli Harika, Nadezhda Kosintseva, and Mongontuul Bathuyang.

Besides them, the players qualified with 1,5/5 are Xu Yuhua, Pia Cramling, Viktorija Cmilyte, Ruan Lufei, Hoang Thanh Trang, Anna Ushenina, Inna Gaponenko, Shen Yang, and Tan Zongyi.

11:20 CET

These players will have a rest day today, as well as the ones that won their games due to byes. Yet we will get a LOT of action today, as we will witness the first tiebreaks of the World Women Chess Championship.

11:25 CET

The matches today: Natalia Zhukova – Katherine Rohonyan, Ilaha Kadimova – Elizabeth Paehtz, Sabina-Francesca Foisor – Monika Socko, Lilit Mkrtchian – Eva Moser, and Natasha Bojkovic – Ju Wenjun.


11:40 CET

The games start at 13:00 CET. We will bring you all the latest news from the playing hall until then, and later on will follow the games live with you.

11:45 CET

Irina Krush decided not to come to Nalchik long time ago, but Anna Zatonskih is here. Yesterday she enjoyed her trip to the Blue Lakes and later on gave an extensive interview, covering the security issues, the organization of the WWCC, as well as chess in the USA. You can find the interview at the day 2 live coverage, scroll down to the end to get the whole text.

12:00 CET

There are more than 100 photos in the World Women Chess Championship photo gallery including photos from the city, the players, the playing hall, the organizers, and everything around the WWCC. Enjoy!

12:15 CET

Videos from the first days can be found at the Nalchik video report, courtesy of FIDE.

12:30 CET


12:45 CET

15 minutes before the start of the games it is raining cats and dogs in Nalchik. In this sleepy weather it will be interesting to see if the players can concentrate for their rapid and blitz games.

12:50 CET

Ketino Kachiani is the only Georgian player that came to Nalchik. Here is an interview with her by Mr. Surov.

Surov: Ketino Kachiani is the only chess player from Georgia who came to Nalchik. But she represents Germany. I thank her for her agreement to talk after her lose that didn’t let her go on playing in the Championship.

Surov: You were among those Georgian chess players who wrote an open letter with a request to change the venue of the Championship because of the reasons of security. But in the long run you have come. Why?

Ketino: When we were writing this letter we were in Tbilisi and that was the territory of Georgia. Things like that don’t happen very often in capitals. Not only me but other chess players from the different countries backed up this letter. There were 8 Georgian chess players who were to participate in this tournament. I think the Championship would have been more interesting if they had been here. The Georgian chess school is one of the best schools. Moreover it is not only a Georgian chess school. It was famous in the times of the Soviet Union. Maya Chiburdanidze has so many titles that I can’t even enumerate all of them. So I think we must support such people, such legends. But later the situation improved and I am happy about that. I think such problems must be solved peacefully. That’s why I have come here. We, sportsmen, understand each other perfectly. I am sure the same will be with politicians. They will negotiate and solve some problems. Important problems.

Surov: So you differentiate politics and sports?

Ketino: Yes. I do because I am a sportsman, a chess player. Politics is not my cup of tea.

Surov: Why do you think Georgian chess players haven’t come?

Ketino: I think it was difficult for them psychologically to play especially when such things happen to your town. I think nobody can imagine that. I myself can’t imagine that because I wasn’t there at that time. This psychological factor is very important in sport. I believe they wouldn’t be able to play comfortably. They had to solve a lot of problems within the last two days: visas, flights, problems of security, etc. These things are of utmost importance. I think that it was psychologically difficult for the Georgian sportsmen to play. I perfectly understand them. I think the tournament like this Championship is planned beforehand. We must train, we need silence. I grew up in the Soviet Union. All my titles I got being a citizen of the Soviet Union. Now I play for Germany.

Surov: So you have come to Nalchik. Did you see the town? What do you think about Nalchik? Do you feel secure here?

Ketino: I was sure that everything would be OK. It is not only Russia and Georgia that are trying to solve these important problems, but the whole world is involved. I think everything must be decided peacefully. Nalchik is a very calm and peaceful city. One can come here any time. I decided to come at the last moment. Many other chess players did the same. We thought that it would be impossible to hold the Championship if we didn’t come. I can say that the Championship was organized on a high level. FIDE has done its best to provide our security. People here are so friendly and hospitable. That’s why I am here. I am all for peace.

Surov: Unfortunately you are leaving the Championship. If you had known beforehand that you would lose in the first round, would you have come?

Ketino: I think nobody knows beforehand if he will lose or win. The strongest athletes from different sports don’t know either whether they will win or lose. I don’t regret my coming here. I participated in the Championship among the top 64 chess players.

Surov: Thank you.

12:57 CET

The five tiebreak games start in less than 3 minutes. They will be live on the official website. The players are already in their nice stylish chairs and they are ready to begin.

13:05 CET

And games are on! 3 games with d4 and two with e4 opening. Contrary to yesterday Bojkovic and Ju are blasting moves, probably part of another psychological battle.

13:15 CET

Unfortunately, the timers on the official site are not displayed and there is no access to the playing hall due to the WWCC regulations. We will be in constant touch with the arbiters to bring you the latest news.

13:45 CET

Eva Moser and Mrktchian are the first two to head into time trouble. They have played less than 20 moves in 45 minutes and have to catch up.

13:45 CET

Paehtz is a knight up, but she has to work her way to victory. Both players have enough time as they are close to move 40.

14:00 CET

Monika Socko is stunned by the birthday girl Sabrina Fracesca Foisor. The Romanian pawn advance totally compensated the exchange up of Socko. At the same time Paehtz with a knight up found the right way to the victory.

14:05 CET

Monika Socko – Sabrina Fracesca Foisor 0:1, a big shock for Socko and she will have to win the next game with black if she wants to continue her participation.

14:10 CET

Eva Moser is in a similar situation as she lost with white from Mkrtchian.

14:15 CET

Big photo report from the first tiebreak games is available at http://photos.chessdom.com/wwcc-2008/day-3-highlights

14:30 CET

The second games start in a few minutes.

14:31 CET

And here we go, Kadimova and Paehtz engaged in a Queen Gambit Declined. Foisor and Socko are cruising through the Nimzo Indian.

14:40 CET

Timers are up on the official site, refresh the official page to see them.

14:45 CET

As Kadimova and Socko are the only ones to lose their games (the others finished draw) they need a victory to continue to the blitz games.

15:00 CET

Hoang Thanh Trang has just talked to the Chessdom editor-in-chief Goran Urosevic. She shared, “The Olympiad is always very difficult because there are many teams that want to win the medals. Entering in top six would be an extraordinary result for us. I am very happy that Anna Rudolf has won the Hungarian championship and I welcome her in the national team. She is young and very talented and I am sure we will see much more from her in the future.”

15:30 CET

A draw in Mrktchian – Moser! The score is 1-1 and they will be going to blitz tiebreak!

15:31 CET

(corrected) Sabina-Francesca Foisor is checkmated and the match continues at 1-1 score.

15:33 CET

Kadimova equalizes and they are going to play blitz tiebreak with Paehtz! The drama continues!

15:35 CET

Rohonyan is through! She won her game against Zhukova and with total score 1,5:0,5 she is going on. Two American representatives in round 2 – Rohonyan and Zatonskih.

15:40 CET

Bojkovic lost and Ju is through!

15:45 CET

After the correction of the info about Foisor and Socko, we can confirm that Ju and Rohonyan qualify. The rest will play blitz tiebreaks in a few minutes.

15:50 CET

Monica Socko shared with Evgenij Surov that she has participated in 3 WWCC knock out system and she has never passed the first round. “I’m very nervous. In fact I was thinking of passing to the second round, but not about the game I was playing. I have to switch my thoughts and attention on to the game and stop worrying about the future, what is going to happen next, weather I’m passing or not. Still I hope I’ll manage to pass to the second round. At any rate I have to learn to control my emotions.”

15:53 CET

Games are on and all 3 of them opened with d4.

16:00 CET

If you wonder how Moser escaped from a situation being a queen down in the first game, there was an error in the broadcast, so the game was completely equal. This information is still to be confirmed by the official arbiters, but these are the rumors around the playing hall in Nalchik,

16:04 CET

Yet another draw between Moser and Mkrtchian! Exciting match with lots of tension.

16:10 CET

Paehtz wins with black and takes the lead in the match with Kadimova.

16:20 CET

After 70 moves Foisor wins her game against Socko!

16:25 CET

The next blitz games in the games marathon from today start in a few minutes.

16:30 CET

The Polish players Iweta Rajlich and Anna Gasik are encouraging Monica Socko during the breaks. Moser and Foisor usually consult with coaches.

16:50 CET

Kadimova and Paehtz are obviously enjoying this thriller! Another decided game and another even score. This match will be decided in “sudden death” time control. Correction! Lilit Mkrtchian won the second blitz game and advances to the next round!

16:55 CET

Socko also wins to equalize against Foisor! Another Armageddon…. Rules: The player, who wins the drawing of lots, may choose the colour. White shall receive 6 minutes, Black shall receive 5 minutes, without any addition. The winner qualifies for the next round. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces qualifies for the next round.

WWCC Players in press room

Railich, Gashik, Zhukova and Bojkovic following Armageddon games in the press room

17:15 CET

Elisabeth Paehtz temporarily sacrificed a Rook to neutralize Black’s dominating Knight and force a pawn promotion. German player wins to finally move into the next round. The match between Paehtz and Kadimova had no draws!

WWCC Ushenina, Gaponenko, Paehtz

Elisabeth Paehtz (right) talking to Anna Ushenina and Inna Gaponenko after her win in Armageddon game

17:20 CET

Drama in Socko-Foisor! Black run out of time, but there were only a King and Knight for each player left on the board, and the arbiters have declared a draw. Polish players are now engaged in lively discussion in front of the playing hall. Foisor progressed to the next round.

17:35 CET

Sabina Foisor explained to the interpreters that she claimed a draw before her flag fell, but the arbiters have postponed the decision. They still have the right to declare the result after one of the players forfeits on time.

18:05 CET

Monica Socko filed a complaint and Appeals Committee is now meeting to reach the final decision. The Committee’s Chairman will later elaborate the outcome at the press conference.

18:35 CET

Transcript of a quick press conference with Lilit Mkrtchian is now posted.

18:40 CET

It seems like the Appeals Committee has reached the verdict. The press conference should start shortly. Earlier, the Committee asked the press officers for a printout of relevant section in the FIDE Handbook.

18:45 CET

We will have to wait a bit longer, the Appeals Committee just moved to another room! Elizabeth Paehtz was asking around if anything has been decided yet. She is paired to play Anna Ushenina in the 2nd round and you can see them chatting in the picture above. Eli is speaking good Russian, she says she eventually had to learn it after playing so many tournaments in this country.

19:20 CET

The press conference with Elizabeth Paehtz has just ended, we will post a transcript later. Some new details about Socko-Foisor game became known – in the whole time scramble, as pieces flew around, nobody managed to write down all the moves. The arbiters are only recalling an approximate picture (all pieces in the center), as the board was cleared before the position is written down.

20:15 CET

The Appeals Committee accepted Monica Socko’s complaint and granted her a win! She goes into the next round. There won’t be any press conferences on this issue. Read the decision of the appeals committee here.

Thank you for following Chessdom.com live coverage of the World Women Chess Championship! See you again tomorrow at 7:00 EST/13:00 CET.