Kateryna Lagno crowned Women’s World Rapid Champion Print
Friday, 25 April 2014 09:48


Kateryna Lagno emerged Women’s World Rapid Champion by edging Alexandra Kosteniuk on tie-break after both players finished on 10,5/15 points. Lagno claimed the gold medal thanks to the victory in direct encounter. Kosteniuk gets the silver, however the money prizes will be equally split.

As many as five players entered the final round with even scores, setting the stage for the thrilling finale.

Olga Girya, Antoaneta Stefanova and Anna Muzychuk shared the third place with 10,0 points, but Girya won the bronze medal on second tie-break criteria – greatest number of wins.

The FIDE Women World Rapid Championship 2014 was held from 23rd to 25th April at the Ugra Chess Academy in Khanty-Mansiysk.

In the 11th round Alexandra Kosteniuk scored a swift victory against Inna Gaponenko to again single out on the top with 8,0 points. Defending champion Antoaneta Stefanova looked certain to join the Russian, but she dropped the big advantage and Anna Muzychuk saved a draw.

Kateryna Lagno, also a co-leader after day two, narrowly escaped against Marina Guseva to make a draw with perpetual check.

Tatiana Kosintseva and Irina Krush won nice games to catch the group on the shared third place.

In round 12 Kosteniuk continued to demolish the opposition, her victim this time being Guseva. Lagno kept the pace by crushing Zhao Xue and Stefanova also remained close after taking advantage of Krush’s blunder.

Top six games ended with decisive results – Anna Muzychuk, Kosintseva and Girya were also victorious.

In the 13th round Kosteniuk was on the brink of defeat but she found a magical resource to reach a stalemate against Zhao Xue.

This proved to be a precious half a point as both followers, Stefanova and Lagno, suffered setback by losing their games. In another nerve-wracking affair Stefanova pushed for a win, but Valentina Gunina turned the table with a checkmating net.

As it happened, Kosteniuk extended the lead to full point.

Krush failed to convert two extra pawns in the queens’ endgame against Anna Muzychuk, allowing the Slovenian to join the large group on the shared second place, which also included Lagno, Stefanova, Kosintseva and Girya.

But already in the next 14th round Kosteniuk lost to Gunina after blundering a tactical shot in an equal position.

The fatigue clearly kicked in for most of the participants. Stefanova simply handed a pawn to Alina Kashlinskaya early in the opening. But the Bulgarian fought her way back into the game and then proceeded to crush the opponent with a devastating attack.

Anna Muzychuk steamrolled Guseva, while Kosinsteva won in a miniature after Krush mixed up the lines in the French defence.

Lagno went for an all-out attack against Anna Ushenina and this risky strategy paid off as she finally broke through the black defences.

Heading into the final round five players were tied on first place – Kosteniuk, Stefanova, Lagno, Kosintseva and Muzychuk.

In round 15 the first result from the top boards was the shocking loss of Gunina who allowed Lagno to deliver checkmate in one.

Moments later Kosteniuk defeated Pia Cramling to join Lagno on the shared first place with 10,5/15 points each.

Stefanova tried everything to convert R+3P vs R+2P into a full point, but Bela Khotenashvili was calm enough to hold a draw.

Gaponenko confidently held Anna Muzychuk to a draw, while Nana Dzagnidze knocked Kosintseva out of the medal contention.

Olga Girya pulled a worthy win against Harika Dronavalli, eventually claiming the bronze medal on best tie-break.

34 female players from 13 countries competed for the title and prize fund of $50,000.

Coming up is FIDE Women World Blitz Championship which is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk over the next three days.

Official tournament website http://wwrbc2014.fide.com/

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Day 2 - Rapid

The FIDE Women World Rapid Championship 2014 continued today with rounds 6-10 being played at the Ugra Chess Academy in Khanty-Mansiysk.

After the exciting battles and many changes on the top of the standings, at the end of the day the defending rapid champion Antoaneta Stefanova, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Kateryna Lagno are joint leaders with 7,0/10 points each.

Olga Girya, Anna Muzychuk, Marina Guseva are half a point behind the leading pack.
Full standings at http://wwrbc2014.fide.com/wp-content/uploads/results/results.html?l=en&tb=10_ 

The event continues tomorrow at 3pm local time with the final five rounds.

In the 6th round Alexandra Kosteniuk outplayed Tatiana Kosintseva to overtake her on the top of the crosstable with 5,5/6 points. The other top game between Kateryna Lagno and Mariya Muzichuk was drawn and the Ukrainian players remained on the shared second place.

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Irina Krush and Anna Muzychuk made a breakthrough by beating Zhao Xue and Elisabeth Paehtz respectively.

In round 7 Kosteniuk continued her winning row by defeating Mariya Muzichuk with black pieces. Kosintseva bounced back with a nice win against Anna Ushenina to keep the close distance behind the leader.

In round 8 Kosteniuk's run was put to a halt when Anna Muzychuk avenged her sister's loss. Kosintseva was in position to regain the lead, but she spoiled the advantage and even lost to Olga Girya.

Kosteniuk remained on the top, while Girya, Muzychuk and defending champion Antoaneta Stefanova caught the group on the shard second place.


In round 9 Kosteniuk lost second game in a row, against Girya, who then moved into sole lead with 6,5/9 points. Kosintseva escaped against Anna Muzychuk after a huge time trouble where the rook endgame was played on increment.

Irina Krush surged ahead with an easy win against Pia Cramling.

A new group of leaders emerged after the 10th round. Girya's opening experiment backfired and Lagno routinely converted the advantage.

Kosteniuk run into big trouble with white against Krush, but she fought her way back into the game and later Krush blundered horribly to hand the victory to the Russian.

Stefanova was under huge pressure from Kosintseva, but after surviving the initial onslaught black launched a strong counterattack that netted her two pieces for a rook. The rest of the game was only a matter of technique.

Sisters Anna and Mariya Muzychuk shared the point on board four.
Round 10 results at http://wwrbc2014.fide.com/wp-content/uploads/results/results.html?l=en&tb=1_&rd=10_ 

Top round eleven pairings are: Guseva Marina - Lagno Kateryna, Stefanova Antoaneta - Muzychuk Anna, Gaponenko Inna - Kosteniuk Alexandra, Krush Irina - Girya Olga, Muzychuk Mariya - Kosintseva Tatiana and Zhao Xue - Ushenina Anna.

34 female players from 13 countries are competing for the title and prize fund of $50,000.

Official tournament website http://wwrbc2014.fide.com/

top rapid day 1

Day 1 - Rapid

The FIDE Women World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2014 started today at the Ugra Chess Academy in Khanty-Mansiysk, with former Olympic Champion in biathlon Evgeniy Redkin making the first honorary move in the game Gunina - Khotenashvili.

34 female players from 13 countris are competiting for the title and prize fund of $50,000.

After the five rounds in the World Rapid Championship Russian Grandmaster Tatiana Kosintseva is leading the standings with 4,5/5 points. She started with a draw against her compatriot Karina Ambartsumova, but then followed with an impressive string of four victories, including the round five clash against the then leader Kateryna Lagno.

Mariya Muzychuk won a nice positional game against Elisabeth Paehtz, and Alexandra Kosteniuk defeated the defending Rapid champion Antoaneta Stefanova to join Lagno on the shared second place with 4,0/5 points each.


The biggest surprise of the day is the score of top-rated Valentina Gunina who has only 2,0/5 points.

The event continues over the next two days for a total of 15 rounds, with a single game for each round.

Former world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk and former European champion Pia Cramling celebrated birthdays and were presented with flowers by the Organizing Committee.

Top round six pairings are Kosteniuk, Alexandra - Kosintseva, Tatiana, Lagno, Kateryna - Muzychuk, Mariya, Ushenina, Anna - Dzagnidze, Nana and Stefanova, Antoaneta - Girya, Olga.

Official tournament website http://wwrbc2014.fide.com/


34 participants from 14 countries.
The World Rapid and Blitz Championships started in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Once again Khanty-Mansiysk is at the center of attention for the chess world: following the Candidates tournament and Women's Grand Prix, this city hosts the 2014 Women's World Rapid and Blitz Championships. 14 countries sent their representatives – 34 beautiful ladies – to Siberia.

The FIDE Vice-President Vanik Zakarian addressed the players and organizers at the opening ceremony. “Having this competition is Khanty-Mansiysk is very important for FIDE. Your city is a true center of the chess world. You host three very important tournaments in a row. The FIDE leadership is grateful to the Okrug leadership for your hospitality”, said Zakarian. 


The Deputy Governor of Ugra Alexey Putin reminded that Ugra is not only known for its oil and gas. “We are actively developing many sports, but recently chess gained a lot of popularity. We are very thankful to FIDE for helping us promoting chess”, said the Deputy Governor.

The Chief Arbiter Andrzej Filipowicz from Poland recalled his two visits to Ugra land: “I always deeply respected the Khanty-Mansiysk organizers for creating very hospitable atmosphere and conducting their events at the highest level”. 


Then he invited to the stage the highest rated player – Valentina Gunina. Two chess queens approached her. Valentina picked a casket from the girl to her left, and there was a white queen in it. It means that all the participants with odd numbers have White in the first round.

The opening ceremony continued with the concert of Khanty-Mansiysk performers. A video installation that accompanied all acts during the show was a true gem of the evening.


The Rapid Championship is held on April 23-25, and the Blitz Championship follows it on April 26-28. Both tournaments are Swiss system with 15 rounds, but in blitz each round consists of two games with alternate colors.

The winners of each tournament will receive USD 12,000. The total prize fund of each tournament is USD 50,000.

Official website http://wwrbc2014.fide.com/