LIVE updates from Nalchik
Information about the World Women Chess Championship
Welcome to the live coverage of the final 16 of the World Women Chess Championship on Chessdom.com! After the exciting tiebreak games yesterday, we fully know the remaining players for the 1/8 finals.
Svetlana Matveeva – Anna Ushenina
Hoang Than Trang – Humpy Koneru
Hou Yifan – Elena Sedina
Inna Gaponenko – Antoaneta Stefanova
Pia Cramling – Ruan Lufei
Harika Dronavalli – Lilit Mkrtchian
Shen Yang – Nadezhda Kosintseva
Alexandra Kosteniuk – Tatiana Kosintseva
Stefanova, Sedina, Gaponenko, Dronavalli, and N. Kosintseva come after exhausting tiebreak. On the other hand Koneru and Kosteniuk were not paired in round 2. However, Koneru shared with the Chessdom.com journalists that she did not like to have a free round, as it is disturbing her rhythm of play.
Yifan Hou will play with Elena Sedina. Both players have not lost a game in the first two rounds. Similar is the situation of Koneru and Hoang Thanh Trang – all their games were with a positive score. Stefanova (no loss as well) will meet Gaponenko, who had a dramatic round 2 encounter with Rohonyan.
Yifan Hou – Elena Sedina
All photos from the first rounds can be found in the Chessdom photo gallery.
Games start at 13:00 CET, stay tuned with the Chessdom.com live reports, directly from the playing hall.
Question: We would like to hear how the players reacted on the news that the tournament is held in Nalchik instead of Argentina as it had been planned before.
Claudia Amura (player from Argentina): I would prefer the championship to be in my homeland as then I would not have to fly anywhere. We were not against the candidature of Nalchik of course but for the next WWCC we would try to do our best to make it happen in Argentina.
Three years ago the Men’s World Championship was held in my country and everybody still says that it was one of the most fantastic tournaments in the history of chess. I am sure our guests for the WWCC would have had the same impressions!
Of course as everyone else just a month ago I had no clue about Nalchik. But I see that the organization here is brilliant. It was very difficult for the representatives of Latin America making this long trip to arrive here, but the people of Kabardino-Balkaria treat us very good and I am very thankful for their hospitality.
The round two bulletin is available for download from the official website.
Chinese players caught in journalist “ambush” upon returning from excursion
Lilit Mkrtchian was the first to arrive to the playing hall. She thought she was White in today’s game! The arbiters had to explain her the system of color ruling. Her opponent Harika Dronavalli was cautious enough to double-check the colors with your journalist before going to sleep.
The games have started, Harika, as usual, is few minutes late. Photos coming up soon!
Lilit Mkrtchian after the “lesson” about pairings and colors
Alexandra Kosteniuk employing Ruy Lopez against Tatiana Kosintseva
Svetlana Matveeva, hero of the second round, is playing cautiously with White against Ukrainian hope Anna Ushenina.
Svetlana Matveeva preparing for today’s game
Elisabeth Paehtz is recovering from the cold she caught after exhausting matches in the first two rounds. She is in the lobby, accompanied by Anna Muzychuk and Viktorija Chmylite. Most of the players do not bother to change their flying tickets and prefer to spend few more days in Nalchik. Natasa Bojkovic left only yesterday and Zhang Jilin is still with the Chinese delegation in spite of being eliminated in the first round.
Unprepared for today’s game, Lilit Mkrtchian opted for a solid Queen’s Gambit with Black pieces.
New Your Times has a blog post about the World Women’s Championship
Lilit Mkrtchian accepted her mistake with a smile
Kosteniuk has just offered a Knight sacrifice! Should Black accept, White will be able to unleash a tremendous attack. It’s not that Kosintseva has much of the choice as White already snatched a pawn on h5!
Interesting Knight jump from Nadezda Kosintseva. She is trying to exploit White’s somewhat loosely placed pieces – Qc3, Bh4 and Nf2.
Elena Sedina is spending lots of time, again. 13 moves have been played and she is left with less then 30 minutes on the clock.
Hoang Than Trang – Humpy Koneru appears to be heading to a draw.
Shen Yang’s 21. Ne4 might be starting a sequence of forced exchanges.
IM Mkrtchian with only a minute on the clock for the next 15 move!
We saw that coming, Hoang Thanh – Koneru draw.
The players will survive the time trouble, but the effects of it are yet to be analyzed. Even though the position of Mkrtchian was a pawn down, it has not gone much worse in the past moves.
Yifan Hou and Antoaneta Stefanova continue destroying the opposition at the World Women Chess Championship. Both won before the time control, proving the great form they are in.
Inna Gaponenko – Antoaneta Stefanova
Kosteniuk preferred transposition into a complicated endgame where she has three pawns against opponent’s piece. Black’s pieces seem to be well coordinated but it is not easy to start active operations with weak pawns seeking protection.
IM Anna Ushenina scores important win with Black pieces! White position quickly collapsed after the tactical shot which earned Ushenina a pawn on the 23rd move.
Harika Dronavalli is pressing hard to convert extra pawn into full point against Lilit Mkrtchian.
Shen Yang and Nadezda Kosintseva have agreed to a draw after reaching an endgame with reduced material.
More photos from today’s round added to the Chessdom gallery.
Long time top female player Pia Cramling of Sweden wins the first game against Ruan Lufei of China.
Lilit Mkrtchian managed to regain the pawn and is now very close to reach a draw.
Dronavalli – Mkrtchian draw. Excellent result for Armenian player, having in mind that she mixed the colors and prepared to be White today!
Meanwhile, Tatiana Kosintseva made another inaccuracy and allowed Kosteniuk to roll forward with her central pawns.
Tatiana Kosintseva is defending a difficult endgame with only one minute on the clock! Still, we have an impression that Kosteniuk was not forced to allow pawn-chain breakup – perhaps 56. c4!? deserved attention?
Alexandra Kosteniuk could not win the endgame with split pawns and the draw was agreed in the position that resembled the game of other Kosintseva – Nadezda.
Svetlana Matveeva – Anna Ushenina 0-1
Hoang Than Trang – Humpy Koneru draw
Hou Yifan – Elena Sedina 1-0
Inna Gaponenko – Antoaneta Stefanova 0-1
Pia Cramling – Ruan Lufei 1-0
Harika Dronavalli – Lilit Mkrtchian draw
Shen Yang – Nadezhda Kosintseva draw
Alexandra Kosteniuk – Tatiana Kosintseva draw
Round three, game two, is taking place on Friday at 7:00 EST/13:00 CET.
Thank you for following Chessdom.com live coverage of the World Women Chess Championship! The action continues with LIVE commentary of Carlsen-Topalov from the Bilbao Final Masters.