Women’s World Chess Championship 2008

The Women’s World Chess Championship got underway today in the south of Russia in Nalchik, and I’m psyched! It’s my goal to cover it on a daily basis — as I will attempt with the re-reunification of the World Chess Championship in October as well.

In the case of the Women’s Championship, this means I’ll be posting the games that caught my eye from the round or that had particularly weighty title implications. As for the upcoming matches, of course, every game will be posted. I hope you will follow along and comment with your thoughts on the eventual winner and the games themselves.

First thing that caught me off guard was, where in the heck are the games of our US players? Both Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih are participating, but it turns out the rounds are split between two days, so they won’t play until tomorrow.

The next was a brave decision from one the hugely overmatched Alaa El Din in her game against the rating qualifier, GM Humpy Koneru. It appears she shunned a repetition at move 23 when she continued with Ne1 rather than Qe2. Is it possible? So far, all I’ve got to go on is the ICC, since the Game link on the official site is not working as of this typing. I’ll try to remember to correct, if I see it was just a relay error.

There was also an actual upset in the round as Elizabeth Paehtz lost to rating underdog Kadimova, when the former’s attack proved to be “too much too early.”

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Serious chess. Serious fun!