Today: Women's Speed Chess Final Gunina vs Danielian
It all comes down to this match for the Women's SCC.

Today: Women's Speed Chess Final Gunina vs Danielian

| 28 | Chess Event Coverage

The final of the Women's Speed Chess Championship will be played Thursday between GM Valentina Gunina from Russia and GM Elina Danielian from Armenia. A prize fund of $6,000 is at stake.

You can watch Valentina Gunina vs. Elina Danielian Thursday, June 27 at 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 CEST, 19:00 Moscow) with live commentary by IM Sopiko Guramishvili and IM Anna Rudolf on and

Women's Speed Chess Championship bracket
Our women's-only speed chess event, which has spanned 50 days of spring and early summer, will come to an end this Thursday. 

Apart from the honor, there's quite a lot to play for. The winner will receive the following prizes:

The 30-year-old Gunina (@Vanina1989), is from Murmansk but living in the Moscow region, and won't be playing from her home this time. She had planned a vacation to Bali, Indonesia after her Candidates' Tournament, so that's where she'll be making her moves.

After clinching the inaugural Cairns Cup back in February, the Women's Speed Chess Championship can be Gunina's second big prize of the year.

The Russian grandmaster started her championship with a big win vs Irina Krush, by a score of 24-5. Last Sunday, in what was the biggest comeback in Speed Chess history, Gunina came back from a four-point deficit to defeat her compatriot and team member Alexandra Kosteniuk 16.5-14.5.

The following win was the nicest:

Gunina Speed Chess
The 40-year-old Danielian (@ClassyEl) lives in Yerevan, Armenia and said that she will probably "keep the tradition" and play the match from home again. It got her to the final, after all, as the qualifier.

Danielian entered the Women's Speed Chess Championship by winning the qualifier tournament. Then, after beating top seed Kateryna Lagno 14-13, she was also too strong for her good friend Harika Dronavalli in a 15-13 nailbiter.

This was a good win for Danielian, who unexpectedly shifted her play to the kingside in this game:

Danielian speed chess

The players were both rather modest in answering the question about who is the favorite in the final:

Gunina: “I don't think about result. I just want to play.”

Danielian: “The most difficult question. I really don't know. I even don't want to think about the result; let it be the way it should be. I'm already happy that I played this tournament, advanced so far and reached the final. It was new experience in my long chess career and I enjoyed it very much.”

While Gunina is on a holiday and her prep will be limited to “having rest,” Danielian said she will again do nothing special: ”I will try to keep my mind fresh, do sports in order to get more energy, relax and of course solving one-two move tactics.”

Prizes Women's Speed Chess Championship

The prize fund for the final is $6,000 each. The winner earns $3,000 while the other $3,000 is split by win percentage. The winner also qualifies for the general 2019 Speed Chess Championship and the FIDE Grand Swiss in October in Isle of Man.

What they will do with the money?

Gunina: “Oh, I will find a way, believe me. Probably at some point I'll go to the USA for holidays.”

Danielian: “I promise I will tell you what I'm going to do with the prize money but first let me win the final.”

The Women's Speed Chess Championship takes place May 22-June 27 on the live server. All matches are broadcast live with commentary by IMs Anna Rudolf and Sopiko Guramishvili on and

Here's the full schedule:

  • Lagno vs. Elina Danielian (Round 2, Match 1): 13.0-14.0 (news post)
  • Kosteniuk vs. Zatonskih (Round 2, Match 2): 20-8 (news post)
  • Gunina vs. Krush (Round 2, Match 3): 24-5 (news post)
  • Dronavalli vs. Sebag (Round 2, Match 4): 15.5-10.5 (news post)
  • Semifinal 1: Harika vs. Danielian: 13.0-15.0 (news post)
  • Semifinal 2: Kosteniuk-Gunina: 14.5-16.5 (news post)
  • WSCC Championship: June 27, 2019 at 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 CEST)
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.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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