Women's World Ch. R2: Ju, Kosintseva, Krush, Ushenina Out

Women's World Ch. R2: Ju, Kosintseva, Krush, Ushenina Out

| 14 | Chess Event Coverage

GMs Ju Wenjun, Irina Krush, Anna Ushenina and Tatiana Kosintseva are the biggest names who were eliminated in the second round of the Women's World Championship in Sochi, Russia.

Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

On Friday the SCC Galactica in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi wasn't as packed as before. Only half of the initial playing field returned — some of them after enjoying a rest day, others having played a playoff the day before.

Thirty-two participants would fight for a spot in the third round, and a minimum of $8,000 in prize money. The other 32 had left the tournament making $3750, while the losers in the second round would get $5,500.

The first day of that second round didn't see any upsets. The highly experienced IM Alisa Galliamova defeated GM Tatiana Kosintseva in a nice positional game, but as it turns out the 14-year-older Gallianova has a rating one Elo point higher than her opponent.

Kosintseva goes down against Galliamova.Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

GM Viktorija Cmilyte, who is playing her first big tournament since giving birth to her first child with GM Peter Heine Nielsen last summer, wasn't doing great in the opening but then won rather easily anyway:

Cmilyte beats Kovalevskaya after some sacry moments. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, the 2008-2010 world champion, used a neat tactic to beat IM Shen Yang of China:

Strong tactics by Alexandra Kosteniuk. | Photo Nastja Karlovich.

GM Valentina Gunina's win over WGM Olga Girya was spectacular. A rather quiet Catalan turned into a Tal-like sacrifical game where the complications became too difficult for the defender.

Gunina playing in the style of the eighth world champion. Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

Only five games were dedided and no fewer than 11 ended in draws. Three mini-matches (Monika Socko vs Mariya Muzychuk, Inna Gaponenko vs Antoaneta Stefanova and Huang Qian vs Bela Khotenashvili) would see draws in less than 15 moves the next day. Rather uncommon in women's chess!

Top seed GM Humpy Koneru can enjoy her second rest day as she won both matches comfortably with 2-0. GM Natalija Pogonia scored a small upset as she eliminated the higher-rated GM Ju Wenjun of China by winning the second game:

Pogonina through to round three. | Photo Nastja Karlovich.

GM Anna Muzychuk, IM Lela JavakhishviliGM Pia Cramling and GM Zhao Xue proceed to the next round after winning their white games against IM Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, WGM Tan ZhongyiGM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant and IM Salome Melia respectively.

In the second game between two first-round underdogs, WGM Yaniet Marrero Lopez (who eliminated Elina Danielian) and IM Meri Arabidze (who knocked out IM Elisabeth Paehtz), White was in a sacrificial mood but went too far:

The playoffs on Sunday started with a quick win for French GM Marie Sebag over GM Anna Ushenina — without making a move! Ushenina lost on time due to the zero-tolerance rule.

The official website explains what happened to the ex-world champion from Ukraine:

“She was seen at the lunch a bit earlier and everything looked normal. A phone call back to the hotel revealed that the reason was quite trivial -- her mobile phone switched off, and after powering up it changed the clock back to the Ukrainian time zone (which is one hour behind Sochi). Ushenina didn't notice the difference and consequently missed the round start.”

Ushenina to Harika: “those damn phones!” | Photo Nastja Karlovich.

Ouch. In the second game Ushenina reached a rook ending a pawn up, but her rook was badly placed and Sebag held the draw:

Marie Sebag: through after drawing one game. | Photo Nastja Karlovich.

IM Inna Gaponenko was eliminated by ex-world champion GM Antoaneta Stefanova, who drew the her white game but won as Black. GM Irina Krush lost her white game vs Indian GM Harika Dronavalli and was knocked out after drawing the second. IM Mariya Muzychuk won both rapid games vs GM Monika Socko.

WGM Huang Qian and GM Bela Khotenashvili drew both rapid games and both 10-minute games. Khotenashvili then won the first blitz game (5 minutes + 3 seconds increment) as Black, but was completely lost in the second when...something inexplicable happened.

The weird thing was that it was White who had little time (about 20 seconds vs more than a minute for Black).

A dramatic moment for Huang Qian (r.) | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

2015 Women's World Championship | Round 2 Results

Name vs Name Score Playoff
Lei,T (CHN, 2444) - Koneru,H (IND, 2581) 0-2
Ju,W (CHN, 2557) - Pogonina,N (RUS, 2456) 0.5-1.5
Goryachkina,A (RUS, 2456) - Muzychuk,A (UKR, 2552) 0.5-1.5
Cmilyte,V (LTU, 2530) - Kovalevskaya,E (RUS, 2438) 1.5-0.5
Shen,Y (CHN, 2459) - Kosteniuk,A (RUS 2529) 0.5-1.5
Gunina,V (RUS, 2528) - Girya,O (RUS, 2459) 2-0
Melia,S (GEO, 2459) - Zhao,X (CHN, 2527) 0.5-1.5
Muzychuk,M (UKR, 2526) - Socko,M (POL, 2463) 1-1 2-0
Gaponenko,I (UKR, 2384) - Stefanova,A (BUL, 2552) 1-1 0.5-1.5
Khotenashvili,B (GEO, 2513) - Huang,Q (CHN, 2473) 1-1 3.5-2.5
Arakhamia-Grant,K (SCO, 2379) - Cramling,P (SWE, 2495) 0.5-1.5
Harika,D (IND, 2492) - Krush,Irina (USA, 2477) 1-1 1.5-0.5
Arabidze,M (GEO, 2374) - Marrero Lopez,Y (CUB, 2322) 1.5-0.5
Tan,Z (CHN, 2487) - Javakhishvili L (GEO, 2481) 0.5-1.5
Sebag,M (FRA, 2482) - Ushenina,A (UKR, 2486) 1-1 1.5-0.5
Galliamova,A (RUS, 2484) - Kosintseva,T (RUS, 2483) 1.5-0.5

2015 Women's World Championship | Round 3 Pairings

Name vs Name Score Playoff
Koneru,H (IND, 2581) - Galliamova,A (RUS, 2484)
Sebag,Me (FRA, 2482) - Pogonina,N (RUS, 2456)
Muzychuk,A (UKR, 2552) - Javakhishvili,L (GEO, 2481)
Arabidze,M (GEO, 2374) - Cmilyte,V (LTU, 2530)
Kosteniuk,A (RUS, 2529) - Harika,D (IND, 2492)
Cramling,P (SWE, 2495) - Gunina,V (RUS, 2528)
Zhao,X (CHN, 2527) - Khotenashvili,B (GEO, 2513)
Stefanova,A (BUL, 2552) - Muzychuk,M (UKR, 2526)

The Women's World Championship takes place March 17-April 7 in Sochi, Russia. World Champion GM Hou Yifan is not defending her title; she takes part in the Hawaii Chess Festival instead.

The total prize fund of the championship is U.S. $450,000. Every player gets $3,750, those who make it to round two get $5,500, for round three it is $8,000, round four $12,000, round five (semifinals) $20,000, the silver medalist $30,000, and the winner $60,000.

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