Women's World Championship - 1st Round Results

Women's World Championship - 1st Round Results

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

There have been a large number of withdrawals from the Women's World Championship.  All the Georgian players have withdrawn as expected (due to the recent conflict in the South Ossetia region): Maya Chiburdanidze, Nino Khurtsidze, Maya Lomineishvili, Sofiko Gvetadze, Lela Dzhavakhishvili and Sofiko Khukhishvili.

In addition there have been no-shows from a number of other players: Marie Sebag, Irina Krush, Ekaterina Korbut, Tea Bosboom Lanchava and Karen Zapata.

However, 53 players, including the top seeds are all still there and we can look forward to an entertaining and exciting championship over the next 2 weeks or so.

There were some big rating mismatches in the first round and some spectacular games as a result, as the strongest players made their presence felt; see the crushing wins from Alexandra Kosteniuk and Hou Yifan below.  However, there was also an upset as Katerine Rohonyan (pictured) of the US beat Natalia Zhukova from the Ukraine on rapid tiebreaks.

Elisabeth Paetz from Germany only narrowly escaped joining Zhukova in a shock first round exit, winning an Armaggedon decider after her opponent, Ilaha Kadimova of Azerbaijan had come from behind in the rapid and blitz tie-breaks.

There was also controversy surrounding the result of another Armageddon match between Sabina-Francesca Foisor of Romania and Monika Socko of Poland.  Foisor was black in the Armageddon game and her flag fell, but since the final position was a theoretical draw (just a King and Knight left on the board for each player) the arbiters declared a draw and that Foisor would therefore advance to the second round.  However, Socko lodged a protest with the Appeals Committee which was accepted, and now Socko goes though instead.

No official explanation of the decision to reverse the original ruling has yet been made available - it would be interesting to hear the reasoning (see update below!). Since the final moves were not recorded it is difficult to verify Foisor's assertion that she claimed a draw before her flag fell.

Perhaps tossing a coin would be better than playing an Armageddon game???

The full results of the first round can be found here.

The second round matches start tomorrow.  Due to withdrawals from the event, Humpy Koneru and Alexandra Kosteniuk have no opponents and therefore advance to the third round.

UPDATE:  The Appeals Committee's verdict is given below:

The Appeals Committee met today 31.08.2008 at 20.00 hrs to examine a protest made by the player Ms Monika Socko regarding her game with Sabina-Francesca Foisor.

The complainant fulfilled the conditions concerning the $ 500 deposit

The protest has been examined under the provision of Article 3.17, par. 3.17.1, point a) and d) of the Regulations for the Women's World Chess Championship.

The protest related to the sudden death game between Ms Monika Socko (white) and Ms Sabina-Francesca Foisor (black) where, in the final position, both players had a king and a knight each.

The flag of black fell indicating that the game was lost on time.

However the Chief Arbiter decided that the game was drawn based on Article 9.6 of the Laws of Chess. The Chief Arbiter indicated that in order to achieve a position where white threatens to mate black in the next move, needs that black intentionally places his king and knight so that white can mate in the next move (White: Kc7,Nb6 - Black: Ka8,Na7).

Article 9.6 states that, quote "The game is drawn when a position is reached from which a checkmate cannot occur by any possible series of legal moves, even with the most unskilled play. This immediately ends the game, provided that the move producing this position is legal."

In her protest, Ms Monika Socko contended that she had won the game based on the fact that the flag of her opponent had fallen.

Having considered the arguments presented by the player in her protest and the decision of the Chief Arbiter, the Appeals Committee has decided that indeed based on the provisions of Article 9.6, playing in a most unskilled manner can result in the position indicated by the Chief Arbiter which can lead to a checkmate.

Therefore, the Appeals Committee has decided that the game is a win for white.

Georgios Makropoulos, Chairman

Lewis Ncube, member

Lakhdar Mazouz, member


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