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Women's Speed Chess Championship: Assaubayeva Stuns Koneru

Women's Speed Chess Championship: Assaubayeva Stuns Koneru

PeterDoggers
| 16 | Chess Event Coverage

The Main Event of the FIDE Chess.com Women's Speed Chess Championship started with a surprise as IM Bibisara Assaubayeva eliminated GM Humpy Koneru. The Kazakh number-three player beat the female world number-three 14.5-7.5.

The live broadcast of the match.

On Saturday the $58,000 Main Event of this year's championship took off with the winner of Qualifier 3 on May 30, Assaubayeva, against one of the invited players, Koneru. It became the very first upset as well, with the only 17-year-old Assaubayeva, the youngest of the 16 participants, beating Koneru and with quite a large margin.

She took a small lead in the five-minute portion, which she won 4-3. Her lead increased to two points in the three-minute segment (3.5-2.5) and then, in the bullet, Assaubayeva was clearly the strongest or fastest (or both!): 7-2.

However, early in the match, in game two, Koneru was the one with the stronger nerves. With just seconds on the clock for both players, wild things happened:

The following was an excellent game by Assaubayeva in which she didn't give her opponent any chance. There was, however, a fun tactic that could have decided the game even quicker.

All games

Assaubayeva said she played quite a bit of blitz to prepare for this Main Event after she had won that qualifier two weeks ago.

"I missed many chances," said Koneru. "I was really slow in the five-minute games and I collapsed toward the bullet games. It was a bad day for me but sometimes it happens."

That means the tournament already says goodbye to one of the top seeds. Koneru did earn $1,000 for finishing 9th-16th while Assaubayeva moves on to the next round. She will face the winner of GM Hou Yifan vs. IM Gulnar Mammadova.

The FIDE Chess.com 2021 Women's Speed Chess Championship is an online competition for titled female players. The qualifiers for the event were held May 28-June 6, while the main event runs June 10-July 3. Players battle for their share of a total prize fund of $66,000.

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