IM Gulnar Mammadova (AZE) defeated WIM Ashritha Eswaran (USA) to win Qualifier VI and move on to the main event of the 2021 Women's Speed Chess Championship.
The Qualifier VI was a 13-round Swiss tournament (3+1 time control), with the top eight finishers advancing to the knockout playoff stage.
In the semifinals, Ashritha Eswaran whitewashed Darya Belenkaya (RUS), whereas Gulnar Mammadova and Monica Socko (POL) exchanged blows and decided the winner in the sudden death game. The newly-minted Azerbaijani Women’s Champion won this critical encounter and advanced to the final.
After an eventful draw in the first game of the final Gulnar prevailed in the second encounter with black pieces and deservedly earned her spot in the 2021 Women's Speed Chess Championship.
Qualifier VII will start on Sunday, June 6, at 10 a.m. Pacific / 19:00 Central Europe and will be followed by Qualifier VIII.
The FIDE Chess.com 2021 Women's Speed Chess Championship is an online competition for titled female players. The qualifiers for the event will happen from May 28-June 6, while the main event runs from June 10 to July 3. Players will battle for their share of a total prize fund of $66,000.
One player from each playoff qualifier will move on to the main event. There they will be joined by eight invited players: GM Humpy Koneru (IND), GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS), GM Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL), GM Anna Muzychuk (UKR), GM Irina Krush (USA), GM Kateryna Lagno (RUS), GM Lei Tingjie (CHN).
Fans can follow the FIDE Chess.com Women's Speed Chess Championship by watching the live broadcast with expert commentary on Chess.com/TV and Chess.com's Twitch channel. They will also be able to enjoy the event through Chess.com's Events page (https://www.chess.com/events).
More info and a full schedule of the FIDE Chess.com Women's Speed Chess Championship can be found here.