Archive for the ‘Women’s World Championship’ Category

Kosteniuk: Women’s World Chess Champion!

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

It’s official. A very tough and exciting game today, but Alexandra Kosteniuk kept her cool and saw her way through the fireworks to a claim the highest female honors in chess. Congratulations!

Still looking for the ultimate WordPress plugin for playing over *commented* games. If you know of one, please do tell.

WWCC08: Kosteniuk 2 – Hou 1

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Again, Kosteniuk outplayed her opponent in the early middlegame, only to be rebuffed in her conversion attempts by fine play in the latter stages. One thing’s for sure, Hou has great defensive technique.

A win today would’ve meant the title for Alexandra. Now, it heads to the last pressure-packed game, where she takes the White pieces into battle for another go at it.

WWCC08: Kosteniuk 1.5 – Hou 0.5

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Today’s game was a shocker. At first, with Hou Yifan having equalized easily out of the opening with Black, it looked like a draw was the most likely result. However, in such a short match, there’s hardly any time to catch one’s breath, so she pressed on in hopes of leveling the score. Alas, it only got her into trouble, and Kosteniuk, after 36.c4 and the exchange of queens which followed, appeared to be heading to a sure win. Such was not to be the case either. Clearly, Alexandra misplayed something. But just as clearly, Hou’s defense in the ensuing Rook and Pawn endgame is to be applauded.

Just look at that final position! Three pawns up yet no win in sight.

WWCC08: Kosteniuk 1 Hou 0

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Today saw Game 1 of the Women’s World Chess Championship. In a masterful display of superior positional understanding, Alexandra Kosteniuk slowly constricted her young opponent from the Black side before unleashing a pawn- and game-winning combination.

As Sergey Shipov wrote in the Semifinal Bulletin,

“The women’s championship is far more interesting than men’s! Women always play aggressive chess. Nobody is over-cautious or uses the defensive approach. Being a man, it is a bit offensive for me to admit that the girls are much closer to the great medieval ideals…”

WWCC08: Hou Yifan Advances

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Koneru kept her nerve in the rapid tiebreakers bouncing back with a win in the second game to send it into double-overtime. Then Hou took over in the blitz games, taking the mini-match 4-2 and heading to the finals, where she’ll meet Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Here’s her first rapid win:

It’s obvious Black cannot take with the queen, but she’s up a pawn. See if you can find the winning line after 52…Kxc5.

Serious chess. Serious fun!