After the 11 tiebreaks on Monday all three local Iranian players are out of the 2017 Women’s World Championship. Sopiko Guramishvili bounced back from defeat the day before to stun Iranian no. 1 Sarasadat Khademalsharieh with some more fine attacking play, while Mitra Hejazipour finally lost an epic battle to Anastasia Bodnaruk when she lost on time in Armageddon. All 9 games of that match were decisive!
There are different ways to get to Round 2 of the World Championship, but they’re seldom as different as this: while Bodnaruk needed 9 games and many frayed nerves Olga Girya qualified for Round 2 by default since her paired opponent Cristina Adela Foisor passed away less than a month ago and wasn’t replaced:
You can’t begrudge Anastasia her place in the second round, since she had to bounce back from a loss four times. She actually had to win on demand five times, since she had White in the final Armageddon game.
In purely chess terms a win for the Russian player looked unlikely since she ended up in a lost position, but the clock came to her rescue when her opponent’s flag dropped, metaphorically speaking, in the following position:
Elsewhere all but one of the other matches ended in the first two 25 minute + 10-second increment rapid games, and it was the end of the road for many valiant underdogs such as Argentina’s Ayelen Martinez, Cuba’s Maritza Arribas Robaina and Akter Liza Shamima from Bangladesh.
The latter was outrated by almost 500 points by Harika Dronavalli but scored three draws. Harika’s win was pretty, though!