Archive for the ‘Women’s World Championship’ Category

WWCC08 – Quarterfinal Pairings

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

While Yifan Hou easily dispatched her opponent in the tiebreak, the battle between GM Shen Yang and IM Nadezhda Kosintseva was a more rocky (and tragic) affair. After winning the first rapid game, Kosintseva looked well on her way to a draw from a superior position. Then something happened — probably time-trouble — and suddenly it was game over… but for the “wrong” player.

Unable to recover, she offered little resistance in the blitz games. Chess can be a cruel game indeed!

So, here we have it, the quarterfinals are upon us:

  • Kosteniuk-Ushenina
  • Koneru-Shen
  • Mkrtchian-Hou
  • Stefanova-Cramling

Women’s Chess Championship – Hou’s 1st Loss

Friday, September 5th, 2008

It seems almost inevitable: As soon as someone mentions an athlete’s stellar performance, their next shot, serve, game, etc., goes down the tubes. So it was with Yifan Hou. After being celebrated as the only undefeated player of the Championship, she lost her first game today.

So, it’s off to the tiebreaks for her tomorrow, where she and her opponent will be joined by one other match, that of Shen Yang and Nadezhda Kosintseva, who got there by way of two draws. As for the rest, the quarterfinals in the top half of the draw are now set.

Click image to enlarge:

WWCC08: Defending Women’s World Champ Out

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Round 3 started today with some great fighting games. But, before we look at my favorite, FIDE’s Round 2 Bulletin is ready for download. In it, you’ll read about the surprise upset of the current Women’s World Chess Champion, Xu Yuhua, by Svetlana Matveeva.

I’m really impressed with these PDFs FIDE is putting together, full as they are of pictures, interviews, and all the games, including tiebreaks.

OK, so back to the round at hand. 50% of the games were decisive, the victors being Hou Yifan (the only player with a perfect score), Anna Ushenina, Pia Cramling, and Antoaneta Stefanova.

However, you won’t find the most exciting game among them. Believe it or not, in my opinion, the feature battle today had to be the draw between Alexandra Kosteniuk and Tatjana Kosintseva.

Definitely gutsy play by Kosteniuk, if not completely sound. She kept up the pressure though and landed another shot with Nxe5 that enabled her to save the game. Fun stuff.

WWCC08 – Round of 16 Pairings

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Ah well, no Americans left in the draw. :(

We’re getting down to some real heavy-hitters here!
The matchups for the next round of mini-matches:

  • Svetlana Matveeva – Anna Ushenina
  • Hoang Thanh Trang – Humpy Koneru
  • Yifan Hou – Elena Sedina
  • Inna Gaponenko – Antoaneta Stefanova
  • Pia Cramling – Lufei Ruan
  • Dronavalli Harika – Lilit Mkrtchian
  • Yang Shen – Nadezhda Kosintseva
  • Aleksandra Kosteniuk – Tatjana Kosintseva

WWCC08 – Zatonskih Out

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Bummer! Anna fought hard today, needing a win. Unfortunately, she came up just shy of victory when Black escaped with perpetual check.

Our last bastion of hope is Katherine Rohonyan. She’s taken it to the tiebreakers with a nice endgame win. Her solution to the classic “always a draw” opposite-colored bishops? Sac it for a wall of pawns! :)

Five matches are going the distance tomorrow. Should be exciting. I’ve updated the draw HERE.

Serious chess. Serious fun!