Women's World Ch: Kosteniuk out

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Women's World Ch: Kosteniuk, Zhu Chen exitDefending Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk was eliminated in the third round of the Women's World Championship in Antakya, Turkey. The Russian lost to Chinese WGM Ruan Lufei in the rapid tiebreak. Former World Champion Zhu Chen is also out after three rounds, and so are Viktorija Cmilyte and both Muzychuk sisters.

General info

The 2010 Women's World Championship, organized by the Turkish Chess Federation, takes place December 2-25 in Antakya, Hatay, Turkey. The format is a knock-out competition with five rounds of matches, comprising two games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The 6th and final round will be played over four games and the winner will be declared Women’s World Champion. More info here.

Round 3

One thing is clear after three rounds in Antakya: at the end of the event we'll have a new Women's World Champion. Reigning champ Kosteniuk as well as former champ Zhu Chen were now both eliminated, after Stefanova and Chiburdanidze had to leave earlier.

Another conclusion we can draw is that China is producing more and more strong female chess players. Out of the eight participants left, four are from the People's Republic. One of them, 23-year-old Ruan Lufei, managed to eliminate Alexandra Kosteniuk. After two more or less balanced classical games, she struck in the first rapid game with Black, where a strong pawn centre and more space proved more important than the bishop pair. Kosteniuk then managed to reach a winning position with Black (both the solid 39...Kb8! or 39...b3! should win), but couldn't decide the game in her favour. (In fact White was winning for several moves, but eventually the Chinese WGM liquidated to a drawn rook ending.)

Women's World Ch: Kosteniuk exit

World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk eliminated in Turkey

Top seeded player Humpy Koneru comfortably reached the fourth round with a 1.5-0.5 victory against Anna Zatonskih, who lost the first game with White and then agreed to a draw after after 14 moves in the second game.

Women's World Ch: Humpy Koneru through to round 4

Humpy Koneru smoothly through to round 4

Hou Yifan needed the tiebreak to eliminate Zhu Chen, who indeed was coached by Alexander Morozevich in Turkey. Hou first won nicely in a bishop ending with White, but then blundered material in a sharp Nimzo. In the first rapid game she already had the better end of the draw, and then the 16-year-old Chinese GM beat her opponent from Qatar in another French with White, which was not corretly saved in the PGN unfortunately.


Hou Yifan, through to round 4 after the tiebreak

Viktorija Cmilyte and Almira Skripchenko drew both classical and rapid games, and so they had to move on to the blitz (two five-minute games with 10 seconds increment after each move). In the first, Cmilyte won a healthy pawn with Black but then blundered two pieces for a rook. In the second she had to go all or nothing (btw ever seen a French that started with 1.d4 d6?) but the kingside attack was nothing.

Viktorija Cmilyte vs Almira Skripchenko

The fight between Viktorija Cmilyte vs Almira Skripchenko

The longest match in this third round was between Dronavalli Harika and Mariya Muzychuk: two draws in the classical time control, and then a win each in both the rapid and the blitz minimatch. This meant that for the first time in the tournament a sudden death game had to decide matters. We quote from the official regulations:
If the score is still level after the blitz games, the players will play one sudden death game. The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. The player with the white pieces shall receive 5 minutes, the player with the black pieces shall receive 4 minutes whereupon, after the 60th move, both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds from move 61. The winner qualifies for the next round. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces qualifies for the next round.
Dronavalli Harika won the right to choose the colour, and decided to play with the black pieces. Muzychuk managed to reach a winning position, but needed too much time. Eventually she lost on time on move 56, still in a winning position.

Women's World Ch: Dronavalli Harika through to round 4

Dronavalli Harika, through to round 4 after winning the sudden death game on time

Mariya Muzychuk's older sister Anna had been knocked out a day before by Chinese WGM Ju Wenjun. Zhao Xue eliminated Yelena Dembo and Kateryna Lahno was too strong for Huang Qian.

Games round 3

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Women's World Championship 2010 | Round 3 results
Women's World Championship 2010 | Round 3 results

Photos © Turkish Chess Federation


Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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