Women's Speed Chess: Kosteniuk Too Strong For Zatonskih

Women's Speed Chess: Kosteniuk Too Strong For Zatonskih

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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9 | Chess.com News

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk cruised to victory against IM Anna Zatonskih in Sunday's quarterfinal match of the Chess.com Women's Speed Chess Championship. Especially in the bullet section, Kosteniuk was just too strong.

As it turned out, Zatonskih's score of 3.5-0.5 in classical chess was less relevant than Kosteniuk's superior skills in blitz and bullet. Although Zatonskih did manage to tie the 3|1 portion, the overall SmarterChess prediction was right: Kosteniuk would win, and by a big margin.

Kosteniuk vs Zatonskih Speed Chess predictions
The SmarterChess predictions for Kosteniuk vs Zatonskih.

After a draw in the first game, Kosteniuk took a two-point lead right away. In game three she was quick to spot a tactic based on a bishop-for-knight trade that would have otherwise been somewhat unnatural:

Two more draws followed, and then Zatonskih finally put her first win on the scoreboard. It would be her last one in the five-minute segment though:

Kosteniuk won the last four five-minute games too take a big, 7.5-2.5 lead in the match. The following was a walk-over:

Alexandra Kosteniuk Women's Speed Chess Championship

5|1 section | Scores

# Fed Name Handle Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Score
1 Alexandra Kosteniuk @ChessQueen 2661 2723 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 0 1 1 1 1 7.5
2 Anna Zatonskih @ZatonskihAnna 2533 2471 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0 0 0 2.5

The middle segment was Zatonskih's best. She must have gotten a bit of a boost from the following present in the first three-minute game—a shocking moment for the commentators and the fans!

This was another good game by Zatonskih:


Anna Zatonskih Women's Speed Chess Championship

3|1 section | Scores

# Fed Name Handle Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Score
1 Alexandra Kosteniuk @ChessQueen 2661 2523 0 ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 0 ½ 4.5/9
2 Anna Zatonskih @ZatonskihAnna 2523 2661 1 ½ ½ 0 1 0 0 1 ½ 4.5/9

Kosteniuk was in a class of her own in the bullet section. She only lost the last game, after she had won eight straight games before that. Those didn't always go smoothly from start to finish though:

Once the match was out of reach, Zatonskih played her best bullet game, at the very end:

1|1 section | Scores

# Fed Name Handle Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Score
1 Alexandra Kosteniuk @ChessQueen 2581 2590 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 8.0/9
2 Anna Zatonskih @ZatonskihAnna 2229 2220 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1.0/9

"I knew I didn't have good chances because I know she is very good in blitz, and especially in online chess. I need to practice more. Especially at the end I was extremely tired," said Zatonskih.

Kosteniuk: "I'm not a 100 percent new to online chess' I've been playing quite a bit in my life. What was new is the match format. I haven't really played such a long match because usually if you play online, against one opponent, I get bored after four games. I just quit. Here we needed to play for 3.5 hours. It was not boring, I must say. The time flew very fast!"

Zatonskih earned $286 based on win percentage; Kosteniuk won $1,000 for the victory plus $714 on percentage, totalling $1,714. The Russian GM moves on to the next round, where she will play the winner of the match Valentina Gunina vs. Irina Krush, which is being played today (see the preview here).

Women Speed Chess Championship Schedule

The Women Speed Chess Championship is a knockout tournament among eight of the strongest female chess players in the world. Each match has 90 minutes of 5|1 blitz, 60 minutes of 3|1 blitz and 30 minutes of 1|1 bullet chess. The total prize fund is $20,000. 

You can replay the live broadcast here.

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