Women’s World Championship, Round 2: Surprises keep coming

The first games of the second round of the Women’s World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 6.

The 15-year-old Zhu Jiner continues to surprise chess fans. The Chinese started the second round with a convincing victory over the Russian champion Natalija Pogonina.

Mobina Alinasab produced another upset, winning as Black against Monika Socko. The Iranian outplayed her experienced opponent in the opening and developed her advantage in the middlegame. Socko’s position was already precarious when she blundered a knight and resigned immediately.

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The World Champion Ju Wenjun played a textbook game against Irina Krush, flawlessly converting a spatial advantage in a rook ending into a win.

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Nino Batsiashvili had a promising position against Zhai Mo, however, she chose a wrong moment for a central break, and lost two pawns. The Chinese converted the material advantage confidently.

Anastasia Bodnaruk had White against Anna Muzychuk. In the opening the Russian sacrificed an exchange, however, the compensation proved insufficient, and the Ukrainian gradually overplayed her opponent.

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Alisa Galliamova showed deep opening preparation against Aleksandra Goryachkina and obtained a very promising position. With series of timely executed tactical blows White won a piece and then the game.

Ekaterina Atalik outsmarted Mariya Muzychuk in a complicated minor piece ending. The former World Champion from Ukraine had to give up a piece for Black’s passed pawn. During the concluding stage of the game Ekaterina showed her skill in checkmating with a knight and bishop.

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The following games were drawn: Abdumalik-Zhao Xue, Zawadzka-Koneru, Dzagnidze-Lei Tingjie, Gunina-Ushenina, Kosteniuk-Ni Shiqun, Tokhirdjonova-Tan Zhongyi, Stefanova-Saduakassova, Khotenashvili-Harika, and Lagno-Hoang Thanh Trang.

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The return games will be played on November 7.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


Round 1 of Women’s World Championship Completed in Khanty-Mansiysk

There were 11 tie-breaks on November 5: Lei Tingjie-Gara, Sadaukassova-Matnadze, Krush-Gaponenko, Zhukova-Ni Shiqun, Atalik-Cori, Foisor-Stefanova, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vera Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Padmini-Abdumalik, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian.

Only one match out of 11 was not decided in rapid chess.

Dinara Saduakassova defeated Ana Matnadze with the perfect 2-0 score. Lei Tingjie won against Anita Gara in a similarly convincing way. Inna Gaponenko lost the first game to Irina Krush, and was unable to come back in the second one, thus losing the rapid match 0-2.

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Antoaneta Stefanova also won 2-0 against Sabina-Francesca Foisor. Deysi Cori was unable to hold Ekaterina Atalik: the Turkish player won 2-0.

Anastasia Bodnaruk defeated Sabrina Vega Gutierrez in the first rapid game. The Russian had winning chances in the second game as well, but it ended in a draw, which allowed Bodnaruk to advance to the next round.

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Harika Dronavalli and Sopiko Khukhashvili ended their first game peacefully. The second game started calmly, but the endgame was head-spinning and full of mutual errors. After the dust has settled, the Indian took the upper hand and advanced to the second round.

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Zhansaya Abdumalik and Rout Padmini drew their first game, but in the second one the player from Kazakhstan was stronger and proceeded to the next stage.

Hoang Thanh Trang started her tie-break against Elina Danielian with a win, and solidified her success with a draw in the second game.

Guliskhan Nakhbayeva dramatically lost to Alisa Galliamova in the first rapid game, and did not manage to equalize in the second one. A repeated Russian champion moves on to the next stage.

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Only Natalia Zhukova and Ni Shiqun made two draws in rapid games, and their match advanced to slow blitz games (10+10). The struggle in the first game was very tense, but the Chinese player managed to equalize, then to seize the initiative, and eventually won the game. In the second game she held a draw from the position of strength and won the match.

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Round 2 pairings:

Ju Wenjun – Krush, Zawadzka – Koneru, Lagno – Hoang Thanh Trang, Bodnaruk – A. Muzychuk, Kosteniuk – Ni Shiqun, Galliamova – Goryachkina, M. Muzychuk – Atalik, Tokhirjonova – Tan Zhongyi, Gunina – Ushenina, Socko – Alinasab, Dzagnidze – Lei Tingjie, Khotenashvili – Harika, Stefanova – Saduakassova, Zhu Jiner – Pogonina, Abdumalik – Zhao Xue, Zhai Mo – Batsiashvili.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

21 players advance to the second round of Women’s World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk

The second games of the first round of the Women’s World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 4.

The following players advanced to the 2nd round with the perfect score: Ju Wenjun, Anna and Mariya Muzychuk, Kateryna Lagno, Humpy Koneru, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Nana Dzagnidze, Nino Batsiashvili, Zhao Xue, Zhai Mo, and Zhu Jiner. The last two players defeated the higher rated Olga Girya and Lela Javakhishvili respectively.

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Valentina Gunina, Tan Zhongyi, Monika Socko, Jolanta Zawadzka, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Natalija Pogonina, Anna Ushenina, and Bela Khotenashvili won their matches 1.5 to 0.5. Alina Kashlinskaya did not manage to come back after the defeat yesterday, and Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova also advanced to the next round with a draw in their second game. Mobina Alinasab caused the biggest upset of the championship so far, holding to a draw against Elisabeth Paehtz and thus advancing to the second round.

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The rest of the players will face the tie-breaks on November 5:

Lei Tingjie-Gara, Saduakassova-Matnadze, Krush-Gaponenko, Zhukova-Ni Shiqun, Atalik-Cori, Foisor-Stefanova, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vera Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Padmini-Abdumalik, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian.

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The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com  

First games of Women’s World Championship played in Khanty-Mansiysk

Prior to the start of the first round, the official flag of FIDE was raised in front of the Ugra Chess Academy. This very flag was presented to Ugra Chess Federation President Vassily Filipenko during the closing ceremony of the Chess Olympiad in Batumi. As Khanty-Mansiysk will host the next Chess Olympiad in 2020, for the next two years the flag of FIDE will remain in the capital of Ugra.

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Varvara Tsaregorodtseva, the 9-year-old student of the Ugra Chess Academy, U9 champion of Ugra among girls, made a symbolic first move in the game between Zhai Mo from China and the Ugra representative Olga Girya. The result of this game, however, was disappointing for local fans, as Olga Girya lost in sharp struggle.

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Most rating favorites won their games, however, there was a couple of upsets. Elisabeth Pazhtz lost as White to Mobina Alinasab, a player rated significantly lower than the German. Maili-Jade Ouellet made a draw with Aleksandra Goryachkina.

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A number of decisive games among closely rated players was quite high. Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova defeated Alina Kashlinskaya, Anna Ushenina won against Lilit Mkrtchian, Ni Shiqun lost to Natalia Zhukova, Monika Socko proved stronger than Yuliya Shvayger, and Lela Javakhishvili lost to Zhu Jineer.

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The following games ended in a draw: Krush-Gaponenko, Vega Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Foisor-Stefanova, Saduakassova-Matnadze, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vo Thi Kim Phung-Khotenashvili, Guseva-Zawadzka, Padmini-Abdumalik, Atalik-Cori, Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Lei Tingjie-Gara.

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The second games of the first round are played on Sunday, November 4. Any match that ends 1- 1 will proceed to a tie-break on the next day.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

FIDE Women’s World Championship Officially Opened in Khanty-Mansiysk

On November 2, the FIDE Women’s World Championships started in Khanty-Mansiysk. The Opening Ceremony of the event was held in the Concert and theater center “Ugra-Classic”.

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Guests and participants had a chance to enjoy fairy-tale organ melodies performed by Elena Kozemirenko before the official part of the ceremony.

The first part of the ceremony started with the presentation of 28 participating countries.

In the official part of the ceremony, Chief Federal Inspector of Ugra Dmitry Kuzmenko and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich greeted players and guests.

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Dmitry Kuzmenko read out a greeting letter from the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

Arkady Dvorkovich greeted everyone in Khanty-Mansiysk and thanked the Government of Ugra and its Governor Natalya Komarova in person, organizers, the Ugra Chess Federation, and all the people involved for hosting this event on the highest level. He also reminded the players that the format of the Women’s World Championship cycle would be changed.

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“I will make sure that in the future the Women’s World Championship cycle will be a standard one, and three semi-finalists except for the winner will qualify for the Candidates Tournament which will determine the challenger for the next World Championship Match with higher prizes and better conditions. I would like to reassure you that we will pay more attention to the women’s chess in the future. So everyone could enjoy chess in all its beauty as it is art, sport, and science”, says Arkady Dvorkovich.

After his speech, FIDE President declared the Championship open.

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Before the start of the entertaining part of the ceremony the drawing of lots was carried out. The Championship’s Chief Arbiter Igor Bolotinsky invited the top seed of the Women’s World Championship, the reigning world champion Ju Wenjun of China, who picked a black pawn. It means that the players with odd starting numbers will start the first game of the first round with the black pieces.

The procedure of drawing lots was followed by bright and spectacular performances of singers and musicians.

After the Opening Ceremony, a short press briefing with Governor of Ugra Natalya Komarova and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich was organized.

The first round of Championship starts on November 3 in the Ugra Chess Academy.

There shall be five rounds of matches, comprising two games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The 6th (final) round shall be played over four games. If the score is equal after regular games of each match, tie-break games shall be played.

Schedule: November 2 – Players Meeting / Opening Ceremony, November 3-5 – Round 1, November 6-8 – Round 2, November 9-11 – Round 3, November 12-14 – Round 4 (Quarterfinals), November 15-17 – Round 5 (Semi-final), November 18 – Free day, November 19-23 – Round 6 (Final), November 23 – Closing Ceremony.

Prize fund is USD 450,000.

Official website

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Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE