Alexandra Kosteniuk Wins 2008 Women's World Championship

Alexandra Kosteniuk Wins 2008 Women's World Championship

SonofPearl
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Alexandra Kosteniuk (pictured) has won a well deserved victory in the 2008 Women's World Chess Championship.  The dynamic Russian player took the title by drawing the fourth and final game against her young Chinese opponent, Hou Yifan.

The narrow final margin of victory, by 2.5 -1.5 points fails to adequately reflect how dominant Kosteniuk was during the final.  Besides the first game of the match which she won, Alexandra could also have won game 2 and 3, and forced a draw by repetition in a completely winning position in the final game to ensure victory.

Kosteniuk is the first Russian Women's World Champion since Elisabeth Bykova who held the title from 1958-1962 (and also from 1953-1956).

Name  Years  Country
Vera Menchik  1927–1944  Czechoslovakia / United Kingdom
Lyudmila Rudenko  1950–1953  Soviet Union / Ukraine
Elisabeth Bykova  1953–1956  Soviet Union / Russia
Olga Rubtsova  1956–1958  Soviet Union / Russia
Elisabeth Bykova  1958–1962  Soviet Union / Russia
Nona Gaprindashvili  1962–1978  Soviet Union / Georgia
Maya Chiburdanidze  1978–1991  Soviet Union / Georgia
Xie Jun  1991–1996  China
Susan Polgar  1996–1999  Hungary / USA
Xie Jun  1999–2001  China
Zhu Chen  2001–2004  China
Antoaneta Stefanova  2004–2006  Bulgaria
Xu Yuhua  2006–2008  China
Alexandra Kosteniuk  2008– Russia


Huge congratulations to Sasha Kosteniuk who had an excellent tournament and won the title in convincing style.  She won all of her matches without the need for tie-breaks and didn't lose a single game during the tournament.  She has been a tireless promoter of chess - and herself - for many years, as her entertaining website makes clear.

So the final hurdle proved to be too much for the talented 14 year-old Hou Yifan, but with such prodigious talent who would bet against her adding her name to her many successful Chinese compatriots in the years to come?

The start of the final game.  Pic from the official site.

 

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