Kosteniuk wins first in Nalchik (UPDATE)

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Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) has won the first of four games in the Women World Championship final against Hou Yifan (China). In a Closed Ruy Lopez the players left theory at an early stage, but this turned out to be advantageous for Black. In the second game Kosteniuk missed several chances to bring the score to 2-0.

Photos Evgeny Atarov | ?Ǭ© FIDE

The Women's World Chess Championship, a 64-player knock out system, is held August 28-September 18 in Nalchik, Russia. Last Thursday Kosteniuk defeated Pia Cramling (Sweden) 1.5-0.5 in the first semi-final. Hou Yifan needed the tiebreak on Friday to knock out Humpy Koneru from India.

Saturday was the last rest day, and a large group of participants, including Hou Yifan and Pia Cramling, officials and organizers made a trip to the waterfalls in the Chegmet district. It included donkey riding, rock climbing and putting on national dresses to pose for cameramen - as a woman you have to do so many things to please an organizer!


Photos Peter Rajcsanyi | ?Ǭ© FIDE




It looks like Alexandra Kosteniuk didn't join the excursion and perhaps rightly so. In the first game of the final, Hou Yifan wasn't herself and played badly in the opening, while Kosteniuk was playing like Maria Sharapova, alternating one powerful return after another. She won the first "set" with Black - an excellent start for the charming young mother from Russia.

Update: The second game must have been quite disappointing for Kosteniuk, as she missed some clear wins. The score is now 1.5-0.5. Final, game one and two:



The World Championship Final has begun

Alexandra Kosteniuk: a good start


Hou Yifan: narrow escape in game 2 | Photos Evgeny Atarov | ?Ǭ© FIDE




Scores, Final:















Nat. Name Rtg
G1
G2
G3
G4
R1
R2
B1
B2
SD
Tot.
RUS Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2510
1
?Ǭ?
             
1.5
CHN Hou, Yifan 2557
0
?Ǭ?
             
0.5






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