WWCC in Khanty-Mansiysk: First game of the final match ends in a draw. Print
Monday, 19 November 2018 00:00

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Women’s World Championship: First game of the final match ends in a draw

The first game between the defending World Champion Ju Wenjun (China) and Kateryna Lagno (Russia) was played on November 19 in Khanty-Mansiysk. The World Champion had White.

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A hybrid of the King's Indian and Gruenfeld Defense arose. The game quickly became very concrete, and demanded a lot of calculation from both players. White claimed an opening advantage, as Black's dark-squared bishop remained enclosed on the kingside. The players abstained from castling for quite a while. If White had maintained the grip and traded the queens, Black's position would become precarious, however, Ju Wenjun played a little too soft, and Lagno was able to carry out a freeing break.

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Both sides were under the heavy time pressure and missed a number of promising opportunities in the subsequent sharp battle. At some point, the champion made a serious mistake, but was not punished for it. Kateryna decided to simplify the game, once again giving White an edge, however, Ju Wenjun played very solidly, with a draw in hand. A draw was agreed to on the move 36.

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The second game will be played on Tuesday, November 20. Kateryna Lagno has White.

The final match consists of four games with classical time control. If the match is tied after four games, a tie-break will ensue.

Official website


Kateryna Lagno advances to the Final

The tie-break between Kateryna Lagno and Mariya Muzychuk took place on November 17 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Lagno played White in the first game. In the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez Muzychuk improved her play compared to the previous game, and White did not get anything real out of the opening. Lagno went for the most principled continuation, trading an exchange for two pawns, but after the queens went off the board, it was White who needed to play accurately to hold the balance. However, Mariya returned the material, transposing to the opposite-colored bishop ending, which turned out difficult for Black. In the time trouble Muzychuk was unable to defend precisely. Lagno won two pawns and then stretched Black's defense to break through her blockade. Muzychuk resigned on move 62.

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White went for the Anti-Berlin setup in the second game. Both players castled queenside. Black's position in the middlegame looked more pleasant, as the white bishop was out of play. Black developed a strong attack against the king, utilizing remote positions of White's pieces. The monarch was forced to run, losing a lot of material along the way. Muzychuk gave up having made her 28th move.

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Kateryna won the match 3-1 to qualify for the Final of the Women's World Championship.

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Therefore, the fate of the chess crown will be decided in the final match between Ju Wenjun (China) and Kateryna Lagno (Russia). The Chinese player will start with the white pieces.

November 18 is a rest day.

The final match consists of four games with classical time control. If the score after four games is 2-2, a tie-break will ensue on the November 23.

Official website


Ju Wenjun advances to Final, Kateryna Lagno and Mariya Muzychuk to play tie-break

The return games of the Semi-final were played on November 16 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Ju Wenjun had White against Alexandra Kosteniuk and obtained a stable advantage after the opening. In a Hedgehog position White maneuvered slowly, refraining from any breakthroughs almost until the control move, and even then did not follow it up with more energetic action. Black carried out her break on the queenside, which simplified the position considerably. In the subsequent game, the World Champion did not give her opponent a fighting chance, and the game was drawn in a rook ending.

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Ju Wenjun won her match 1.5-0.5 and advanced to the Final.
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Kateryna Lagno and Mariya Muzychuk discussed the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez. Lagno sacrificed a pawn, which seemed to have taken Muzychuk by surprise, as the Ukrainian began to spend a lot of time on her moves. Later White regained material under favorable circumstances, and obtained a pleasant ending with rooks and a bishop. However, the opposite-colored bishops helped Black to hold a draw.

This match will be played out on tie-break tomorrow. Lagno plays White in the first game.

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The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Official website


Ju Wenjun begins Semi-final with a win

 
The Semi-final of the Women's World Championship started in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 15.

The defending World Champion Ju Wenjun had Black against Alexandra Kosteniuk. The players went for the French defense. After the opening, White's position looked promising, as she enjoyed a spatial advantage. However, Black regrouped nicely and won White's overextended a-pawn. Alexandra did not find the best move at the critical moment, and her position deteriorated quickly. However, then the Chinese missed the strongest continuation, which could give her a decisive edge. Further simplifications followed, but the extra pawn remained and eventually proclaimed itself. Ju Wenjun celebrated victory.

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Mariya Muzychuk made a draw with Kateryna Lagno. In the Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez neither side could claim any advantage. A draw on the move 23 became a logical conclusion of the game.

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The return games will be played on November 16. If the matches are drawn after two games, the tie-break will ensue on the next day.

Official website



Alexandra Kosteniuk and Mariya Muzychuk advance to Semi-final of Women’s World Championship

The Quarterfinals of the Women's World Championship were concluded on November 14 with two tie-breaks: Alexandra Kosteniuk defeated Anna Muzychuk, and Zhansaya Abdumalik lost to Mariya Muzychuk.

Kosteniuk played the first game with White and obtained a promising position after the opening. Then Black managed to activate her pieces and got a strong counterplay. However, being under heavy time pressure, Muzychuk made several mistakes, giving Kosteniuk a decisive advantage.

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Muzychuk started the second game with 1.f4 and got an overwhelming advantage already in the opening. However, with very tenacious defense Alexandra managed to hold a difficult endgame. Looking for possible winning chances, Muzychuk avoided a number of drawing lines, and Black even got an edge. In the end Kosteniuk secured a draw from the position of strength and advanced to the Semi-final with the overall 1.5-0.5 win.

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Mariya Muzychuk started the tie-break with a Black victory: Abdumalik failed to convince in the opening and then was gradually outplayed in the endgame. In the return game Abdumalik managed to create a complicated battle. Muzychuk sacrificed a piece, but her compensation proved insufficient. With some adventures in the mutual time trouble Abdumalik converted an extra piece, and the players proceeded to "10+10" stage.

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The first 10-minute game was highly dramatic. Zhansaya Abdumalik was defending for the entire game and was very close to a draw. In the endgame R+N vs R she had the right to claim a draw according to the 50-move rule, despite being mated in two moves. However, instead of claiming a draw, Abdumalik resigned.

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However, Zhansaya demonstrated her fighting spirit and came back in the second game. The match continued by two more blitz games with faster time control.

Mariya Muzychuk won the first 5+3 blitz as White, then got a much better position as Black and forced a draw by perpetual, thus advancing to the next stage.

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Semi-final pairings:

Alexandra Kosteniuk - Ju Wenjun
Mariya Muzychuk - Kateryna Lagno

All players who had advanced to the Semi-final except for the future champion automatically qualified for the 2019 Women's Candidates Tournament.

Official website




Ju Wenjun and Kateryna Lagno become the first semi-finalists of Women’s World Championship


The return games of the Quarterfinals were played on November 13 in the Ugra Chess Academy.

Lei Tingjie and Kateryna Lagno entered a complex Ruy Lopez position. According to the Russian, Lei surprised her in the opening, however, Black managed to obtain a harmonious position. The Chinese made a mistake in a time trouble, and was forced to part with material. Lagno gradually overcame the resistance, won the second game as well and advanced to the semi-final.

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Ju Wenjun won as Black against Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova. The World Champion found the strongest continuation in the position with opposite side castling, after which White had to give up a pawn. Later White made another mistake and lost even more material, however, in a clearly winning position Ju Wenjun made a mistake herself, giving White significant drawing chances. Still, Tokhirjonova's defense of the resulting endgame was not precise, and Black eventually won this dramatic game. Ju Wenjun also proceeded to the semi-final.

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Mariya Muzychuk once again showed her incredible fighting spirit, winning as Black against Zhansaya Abdumalik to equalize the match score. After the opening Muzychuk sacrificed an exchange for a pawn. The bishop pair gave Black sufficient compensation, and Muzychuk gradually outplayed her opponent in the middlegame. Abdumalik had to return the material with interest, but there was no way out for White. This match will continue on tie-break tomorrow.

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Anna Muzychuk and Alexandra Kosteniuk made a second draw and will also play the tie-break.

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The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

A. Kosteniuk - A. Muzychuk

Z. Abdumalik - M. Muzychuk

All players in the Semifinal except the future champion qualify for the 2019 Women's Candidates Tournament

Official website






Round 4: Kateryna Lagno and Zhansaya Abdumalik begin with victories


The Quarterfinals of the Women's World Chess Championship started in Khanty-Mansiysk on November 12.

Kateryna Lagno celebrated a convincing victory over Lei Tingjie. The Chinese player went for a very passive opening setup as Black. White gradually developed her advantage and kept pushing even after the exchange of queens, utilizing her strong bishop pair. After white rooks broke to the 7th rank, Black's position became totally lost.

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Former World Champion Mariya Muzychuk, playing White, lost to the 18-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik. The Ukrainian sacrificed a pawn for the initiative and soon regained the material with interest. However, holding onto the extra pawn was difficult because of the insecure position of her king. Abdumalik utilized a first clear inaccuracy of her opponent, delivering a nice tactical shot. Muzychuk lost a piece and resigned on the 57th move.

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A. Kosteniuk-A. Muzychuk ended in a draw. In the Sveshnikov/Chelyabinsk variation of the Sicilian, Black sacrificed a pawn, obtaining sufficient counterplay in return. A draw was agreed after series of exchanges.

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Another rising star of the championship, Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova successfully held as Black against Ju Wenjun. The World Champion had an advantage after the opening, but it somehow evaporated in the middlegame. The resulting rook ending with an extra pawn to White was drawn, and the players signed a peace treaty soon after the control move.

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The second games of the round will be played on November 13, the tie-breaks will follow on the next day.

It is to be recalled that all the semifinalists except the future champion will qualify for the upcoming 2019 Women’s Candidates Tournament.

Pairings and results https://ugra2018.fide.com/pairings/
Photos https://ugra2018.fide.com/2018/11/12/photo-round-4-game-1/
Videos https://ugra2018.fide.com/category/video-en/


Round 3 of the Women’s World Championship is over

The tie-break of the Women's World Championship was played on November 11 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

The 19-year-old Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova surprisingly defeated the higher rated Valentina Gunina. Tokhirjonova won both rapid games in sharp tactical struggle, which is usually considered Gunina's territory.

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Lei Tingjie was stronger than Alisa Galliamova in both 25-minute games and advanced to the Quarterfinal.

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Anna Muzychuk and Antoaneta Stefanova drew their first game. In the second game Muzychuk played Black and celebrated a victory, joining her sister at the next stage.

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Zhansaya Abdumalik convincingly defeated Jolanta Zawadzka in the first game, and secured a draw from the position of strength in the second game. The player from Kazakhstan is also in the Quarterfinal.

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Alexandra Kosteniuk outplayed Harika Dronavalli in the first rapid game, but did not manage to hold a slightly worse endgame in the second one. In 10+10 blitz games the Russian was stronger in the first game and confidently drew the second one, thus advancing to the 4th round.

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Natalija Pogonina and Kateryna Lagno produced the first Armageddon at the Championship. They made two draws in rapid chess and moved on to blitz. Long blitz games brought another two draws. In 5+3 games the players exchanged blows: Natalija lost the first game, but showed her famous fighting spirit and came back in the second one. In the “sudden death” game Kateryna Lagno took White and managed to outplay her opponent in the endgame.

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Quarterfinal pairings:

Ju Wenjun - Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova
Mariya Muzychuk - Zhansaya Abdumalik
Kateryna Lagno - Lei Tingjie
Alexandra Kosteniuk - Anna Muzychuk

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


Two quarterfinalists are determined, six tie-breaks are ahead

The return games of the third round of the Women's World Championship were played on November 10.

The reigning World Champion Ju Wenjun was first to advance to the Quarterfinals, drawing the second game with her 22-year-old compatriot Zhai Mo and thus securing the overall match win.

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Former World Champion Mariya Muzychuk eliminated the most sensational player of the first two rounds, the 18-year-old Mobina Alinasab. In the second game of the match the Ukrainian got an advantage after the opening, gradually improved her position and won a good fighting game, winning the match 1.5 to 0.5.

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Valentina Gunina managed to level the score against Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova, and the outcome of the match will be decided on the tie-break tomorrow. According to the Russian, this will be her first tie-break ever.

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The 18-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik, who plays her first World Championship, also succeeded in coming back in her match against Jolanta Zawadzka. The fight will be continued on the tie-break.

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After a lengthy struggle Antoaneta Stefanova squeezed a victory over Anna Muzychuk, thus tying the match score and advancing to the tie-breaks.

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The classical part of the matches Harika-Kosteniuk, Lagno-Pogonina, and Galliamova-Lei Tingjie ended in draws, rapid and possibly blitz games to follow tomorrow.

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The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

Muzychuk Anna - Stefanova Antoaneta
Pogonina Natalija - Lagno Kateryna
Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim - Gunina Valentina
Galliamova Alisa - Lei Tingjie
Kosteniuk Alexandra - Harika Dronavalli
Abdumalik Zhansaya - Zawadzka Jolanta

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 



Round 3 begins in Khanty-Mansiysk

The first games of the Round 3 of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 9.

Antoaneta Stefanova suffered an opening disaster against Anna Muzychuk. According to the Ukrainian, facing the Petroff defense was rather surprising. “I am not sure whether Antoaneta ever played this opening before, and she clearly was not ready for the variation I chose. Her 9th move was inaccurate and allowed me to seize space and obtain a good game”, said Anna afterwards.

Already around the move 15 Black was in a serious trouble, and White successfully utilized advantages of her position. The former World Champion resigned on the move 26, unable to defend against mating threats.

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Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova produced a mild sensation beating Valentina Gunina. Their game was double-edged, but in the mutual time trouble the Russian probably overestimated her chances, refusing a number of drawing options, made a fatal mistake and lost very quickly.

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Jolanta Zawadzka surprised Zhansaya Abdumalik in the opening and got a promising position as White. The grandmaster from Poland produced a quality strategic game, won an exchange and eventually celebrated a win.

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Ju Wenjun had Black against Zhai Mo. The younger Chinese player miscalculated a combination in the middlegame, lost an exchange, and was unable to survive.

Mobina Alinasab obtained a serious advantage after the opening against Mariya Muzychuk, and methodically applied pressure against Black's position. The game transposed to a queen ending with an extra pawn to White, however, when Alinasab was on a brink of a victory, she committed a big mistake, allowing Black to survive with a rather miraculous perpetual check.

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Alexandra Kosteniuk held as Black against Harika Dronavalli, defending a difficult endgame without a pawn. The games Galliamova-Lei Tingjie and Pogonina-Lagno also ended peacefully.

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The second games of the round will be played on Saturday, November 10. The tied matches will proceed to the tie-breaks on November 11.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 



16 players continue fighting for the chess crown

The tie-breaks of the second round of the World Women's Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk were played on November 8. Once again all matches except one were decided in rapid chess.

The Russians Kateryna Lagno and Alexandra Kosteniuk won their matches against Hoang Thanh Trang and Ni Shiqun respectively with the same score – 2-0.

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Zhansaya Abdumalik also won both games against Zhao Xue; in the second game the Chinese player lost on time in a drawn position, but it did not affect the outcome of the match.

Antoaneta Stefanova defeated Dinara Saduakassova in the first game, and secured the match win with a draw from the position of strength in the second game.

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Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova defeated the former World Champion Tan Zhongyi in the first game and held the balance in the second game.

Harika Dronavalli missed a victory in the first game with Bela Khotenashvili, but showed strong character, winning the second game and a match.

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The match between Mariya Muzychuk and Ekaterina Atalik was quite dramatic. Atalik probably missed some chances in the first game, which ended in a draw, and suffered an opening disaster in the second game. Muzychuk won and advanced to the third round.

Natalija Pogonina succesfully defended two difficult positions against Zhu Jiner in rapid chess, and then crushed the opponent in the first 10-minute game. In the second game the Chinese fought desperately, but was unable to get realistic winning chances, and eventually lost.

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Round 3 matches:

Zhai Mo - Ju Wenjun
Jolanta Zawadzka – Zhansaya Abdumalik
Natalija Pogonina – Kateryna Lagno
Anna Muzychuk – Antoaneta Stefanova
Harika Dronavalli – Alexandra Kosteniuk
Alisa Galliamova - Lei Tingjie
Mobina Alinasab - Mariya Muzychuk
Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova – Valentina Gunina

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 




Favorites keep leaving Khanty-Mansiysk

The second games of the second round of the Women’s World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk were played on November 7.

Having defeated Anastasia Bodnaruk in both games, Anna Muzychuk became the first qualifier to the third round.

Mobina Alinasab continues to surprise chess fans: although her position after the opening looked rather suspicious, the Iranian outplayed Monika Socko in the middlegame and won the match 2-0.

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However, the main surprise of the round occurred in the match between Humpy Koneru and Jolanta Zawadzka – the grandmaster from Poland, playing Black, defeated the rating favorite and advanced to the third round.

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Lei Tingjie was stronger than Nana Dzagnidze in the second game of their match and also moved on to the third round.

Aleksandra Goryachkina failed to strike back in the Russian derby against Alisa Galliamova. The more experienced Galliamova had the initiative throughout the game and won convincingly.

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Ju Wenjun successfully defended a difficult position against Irina Krush and secured the overall victory – 1.5 to 0.5.

Valentina Gunina won a complicated game as Black against Anna Ushenina, and advanced to the next stage, winning her match 1.5 to 0.5.

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Zhai Mo won both games against Nino Batsiashvili and joined a group of her compatriots in the third round.

Ekaterina Atalik was close to defeating Mariya Muzychuk for the second time in a row, however, she made a mistake in a very sharp position and lost. This match will be continued tomorrow on the tie-break.

Natalija Pogonina also managed to level the score against Zhu Jiner. The winner of their match will also be determined in speed chess.

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The following matches featured two draws and will be decided on the tie-break: Lagno-Hoang Thanh Trang, Khotenashvili-Harika, Tokhirjonova-Tan Zhongyi, Abdumalik-Zhao Xue, Stefanova-Saduakassova, and Kosteniuk-Ni Shiqun.

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The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

Hoang Thanh Trang - Lagno Kateryna
Kosteniuk Alexandra - Ni Shiqun
Muzychuk Mariya - Atalik Ekaterina
Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim - Tan Zhongyi
Harika Dronavalli - Khotenashvili Bela
Saduakassova Dinara - Stefanova Antoaneta
Zhu Jiner - Pogonina Natalija
Zhao Xue - Abdumalik Zhansaya

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


Women's World Championship, Round 2: Surprises keep coming

The first games of the second round of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 6.

The 15-year-old Zhu Jiner continues to surprise chess fans. The Chinese started the second round with a convincing victory over the Russian champion Natalija Pogonina.

Mobina Alinasab produced another upset, winning as Black against Monika Socko. The Iranian outplayed her experienced opponent in the opening and developed her advantage in the middlegame. Socko's position was already precarious when she blundered a knight and resigned immediately.

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The World Champion Ju Wenjun played a textbook game against Irina Krush, flawlessly converting a spatial advantage in a rook ending into a win.

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Nino Batsiashvili had a promising position against Zhai Mo, however, she chose a wrong moment for a central break, and lost two pawns. The Chinese converted the material advantage confidently.

Anastasia Bodnaruk had White against Anna Muzychuk. In the opening the Russian sacrificed an exchange, however, the compensation proved insufficient, and the Ukrainian gradually overplayed her opponent.

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Alisa Galliamova showed deep opening preparation against Aleksandra Goryachkina and obtained a very promising position. With series of timely executed tactical blows White won a piece and then the game.

Ekaterina Atalik outsmarted Mariya Muzychuk in a complicated minor piece ending. The former World Champion from Ukraine had to give up a piece for Black's passed pawn. During the concluding stage of the game Ekaterina showed her skill in checkmating with a knight and bishop.

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The following games were drawn: Abdumalik-Zhao Xue, Zawadzka-Koneru, Dzagnidze-Lei Tingjie, Gunina-Ushenina, Kosteniuk-Ni Shiqun, Tokhirdjonova-Tan Zhongyi, Stefanova-Saduakassova, Khotenashvili-Harika, and Lagno-Hoang Thanh Trang.

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The return games will be played on November 7.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

 


Round 1 of Women’s World Championship Completed in Khanty-Mansiysk

There were 11 tie-breaks on November 5: Lei Tingjie-Gara, Sadaukassova-Matnadze, Krush-Gaponenko, Zhukova-Ni Shiqun, Atalik-Cori, Foisor-Stefanova, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vera Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Padmini-Abdumalik, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian.

Only one match out of 11 was not decided in rapid chess.

Dinara Saduakassova defeated Ana Matnadze with the perfect 2-0 score. Lei Tingjie won against Anita Gara in a similarly convincing way. Inna Gaponenko lost the first game to Irina Krush, and was unable to come back in the second one, thus losing the rapid match 0-2.

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Antoaneta Stefanova also won 2-0 against Sabina-Francesca Foisor. Deysi Cori was unable to hold Ekaterina Atalik: the Turkish player won 2-0.

Anastasia Bodnaruk defeated Sabrina Vega Gutierrez in the first rapid game. The Russian had winning chances in the second game as well, but it ended in a draw, which allowed Bodnaruk to advance to the next round.

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Harika Dronavalli and Sopiko Khukhashvili ended their first game peacefully. The second game started calmly, but the endgame was head-spinning and full of mutual errors. After the dust has settled, the Indian took the upper hand and advanced to the second round.

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Zhansaya Abdumalik and Rout Padmini drew their first game, but in the second one the player from Kazakhstan was stronger and proceeded to the next stage.

Hoang Thanh Trang started her tie-break against Elina Danielian with a win, and solidified her success with a draw in the second game.

Guliskhan Nakhbayeva dramatically lost to Alisa Galliamova in the first rapid game, and did not manage to equalize in the second one. A repeated Russian champion moves on to the next stage.

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Only Natalia Zhukova and Ni Shiqun made two draws in rapid games, and their match advanced to slow blitz games (10+10). The struggle in the first game was very tense, but the Chinese player managed to equalize, then to seize the initiative, and eventually won the game. In the second game she held a draw from the position of strength and won the match.

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Round 2 pairings:

Ju Wenjun – Krush, Zawadzka – Koneru, Lagno – Hoang Thanh Trang, Bodnaruk – A. Muzychuk, Kosteniuk – Ni Shiqun, Galliamova – Goryachkina, M. Muzychuk – Atalik, Tokhirjonova – Tan Zhongyi, Gunina – Ushenina, Socko – Alinasab, Dzagnidze – Lei Tingjie, Khotenashvili – Harika, Stefanova – Saduakassova, Zhu Jiner – Pogonina, Abdumalik – Zhao Xue, Zhai Mo – Batsiashvili.

 
Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


21 players advance to the second round of Women’s World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk

The second games of the first round of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 4.

The following players advanced to the 2nd round with the perfect score: Ju Wenjun, Anna and Mariya Muzychuk, Kateryna Lagno, Humpy Koneru, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Nana Dzagnidze, Nino Batsiashvili, Zhao Xue, Zhai Mo, and Zhu Jiner. The last two players defeated the higher rated Olga Girya and Lela Javakhishvili respectively.

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Valentina Gunina, Tan Zhongyi, Monika Socko, Jolanta Zawadzka, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Natalija Pogonina, Anna Ushenina, and Bela Khotenashvili won their matches 1.5 to 0.5. Alina Kashlinskaya did not manage to come back after the defeat yesterday, and Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova also advanced to the next round with a draw in their second game. Mobina Alinasab caused the biggest upset of the championship so far, holding to a draw against Elisabeth Paehtz and thus advancing to the second round.

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The rest of the players will face the tie-breaks on November 5:

Lei Tingjie-Gara, Saduakassova-Matnadze, Krush-Gaponenko, Zhukova-Ni Shiqun, Atalik-Cori, Foisor-Stefanova, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vera Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Padmini-Abdumalik, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian.

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The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com  



First games of Women's World Championship played in Khanty-Mansiysk

Prior to the start of the first round, the official flag of FIDE was raised in front of the Ugra Chess Academy. This very flag was presented to Ugra Chess Federation President Vassily Filipenko during the closing ceremony of the Chess Olympiad in Batumi. As Khanty-Mansiysk will host the next Chess Olympiad in 2020, for the next two years the flag of FIDE will remain in the capital of Ugra.

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Varvara Tsaregorodtseva, the 9-year-old student of the Ugra Chess Academy, U9 champion of Ugra among girls, made a symbolic first move in the game between Zhai Mo from China and the Ugra representative Olga Girya. The result of this game, however, was disappointing for local fans, as Olga Girya lost in sharp struggle.

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Most rating favorites won their games, however, there was a couple of upsets. Elisabeth Pazhtz lost as White to Mobina Alinasab, a player rated significantly lower than the German. Maili-Jade Ouellet made a draw with Aleksandra Goryachkina.

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A number of decisive games among closely rated players was quite high. Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova defeated Alina Kashlinskaya, Anna Ushenina won against Lilit Mkrtchian, Ni Shiqun lost to Natalia Zhukova, Monika Socko proved stronger than Yuliya Shvayger, and Lela Javakhishvili lost to Zhu Jineer.

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The following games ended in a draw: Krush-Gaponenko, Vega Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Foisor-Stefanova, Saduakassova-Matnadze, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vo Thi Kim Phung-Khotenashvili, Guseva-Zawadzka, Padmini-Abdumalik, Atalik-Cori, Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Lei Tingjie-Gara.

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The second games of the first round are played on Sunday, November 4. Any match that ends 1- 1 will proceed to a tie-break on the next day.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 



FIDE Women’s World Championship Officially Opened in Khanty-Mansiysk

On November 2, the FIDE Women's World Championships started in Khanty-Mansiysk. The Opening Ceremony of the event was held in the Concert and theater center “Ugra-Classic”.

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Guests and participants had a chance to enjoy fairy-tale organ melodies performed by Elena Kozemirenko before the official part of the ceremony.

The first part of the ceremony started with the presentation of 28 participating countries.

In the official part of the ceremony, Chief Federal Inspector of Ugra Dmitry Kuzmenko and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich greeted players and guests.

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Dmitry Kuzmenko read out a greeting letter from the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

Arkady Dvorkovich greeted everyone in Khanty-Mansiysk and thanked the Government of Ugra and its Governor Natalya Komarova in person, organizers, the Ugra Chess Federation, and all the people involved for hosting this event on the highest level. He also reminded the players that the format of the Women’s World Championship cycle would be changed.

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“I will make sure that in the future the Women's World Championship cycle will be a standard one, and three semi-finalists except for the winner will qualify for the Candidates Tournament which will determine the challenger for the next World Championship Match with higher prizes and better conditions. I would like to reassure you that we will pay more attention to the women's chess in the future. So everyone could enjoy chess in all its beauty as it is art, sport, and science”, says Arkady Dvorkovich.

After his speech, FIDE President declared the Championship open.

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Before the start of the entertaining part of the ceremony the drawing of lots was carried out. The Championship’s Chief Arbiter Igor Bolotinsky invited the top seed of the Women's World Championship, the reigning world champion Ju Wenjun of China, who picked a black pawn. It means that the players with odd starting numbers will start the first game of the first round with the black pieces.

The procedure of drawing lots was followed by bright and spectacular performances of singers and musicians.

After the Opening Ceremony, a short press briefing with Governor of Ugra Natalya Komarova and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich was organized.

The first round of Championship starts on November 3 in the Ugra Chess Academy.

There shall be five rounds of matches, comprising two games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The 6th (final) round shall be played over four games. If the score is equal after regular games of each match, tie-break games shall be played.

Schedule: November 2 - Players Meeting / Opening Ceremony, November 3-5 - Round 1, November 6-8 - Round 2, November 9-11 - Round 3, November 12-14 - Round 4 (Quarterfinals), November 15-17 - Round 5 (Semi-final), November 18 - Free day, November 19-23 - Round 6 (Final), November 23 - Closing Ceremony.

Prize fund is USD 450,000.

Official website

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Round 4: Kateryna Lagno and Zhansaya Abdumalik begin with victories

 
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