2010 Women's World Championship - First upsets

12/6/2010 – In an unusual pairing system that had top boards sporting over 500 Elo over their adversaries, while the middle of the field played virtual mirrors, it seemed unlikely any of the strongest would suffer, yet even such shielding was not enough. The biggest name was Cramling's loss to local Turkish talent, Yildiz. However, Kovanova's spectacular win over Pogonina was the game of the round. Report.

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The Women's World Chess Championship is being held at Hatay, Turkey, from December 2nd to 25th. It is a 64-player knockout tournament, with two-game mini-matches qualifying a player to the next round, until the final and 6th round, which is a four-game match to determine the champion. In the event of a draw after the two tournament time-control games, there will be a rapid game tie-breaker, followed by a possible blitz playoff, and finally an armageddon blitz game. The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, and a 30-second increment per move as of the first move. The games are held daily at 3 PM local time (2 PM Paris / 8 AM New York / 5 AM Los Angeles). The full schedule is available here.

Note that the organizers pulled out all the stops to provide coverage of the highest quality, including daily live video coverage during the rounds.


The second day playing hall, no longer played amidst ancient relics

Round one

The first round finished with several predicted results, and some not, in spite of the unusual pairing system. With 64 players, one would expect a strong-weak pairing system, with the top seed playing the 33rd player, and the 32nd playing the bottom seed. Instead, they chose a system of extremes that seemed to greatly favor the very strongest, while providing the toughest challenges for the middle of the pack, thus the top seed was actually paired with the absolute lowest rating, and the 32nd rating was paired against the 33rd. In other words, Koneru (2600 Elo) played Greeff (2082 Elo), enjoying an extremely comfortable 518 Elo edge, while Turova, (2439 Elo) had to face Khukhashvili (2430).

As a result, the top boards showed no surprises, or so one would have thought, but the hero of the day, was local champion, Betul Cemre Yildiz (2225), playing for Turkey, who caused the first great surprise, by outlasting European champion GM Pia Cramling (2526), after drawing their first game, and then benefitting from an amazing lapse by the Swede, who failed to play her 40th move in time.


Betul Cemre Yildiz (2225) from Turkey caused the biggest upset of the first round


A thoughtful Pia Cramling clearly not at her best after a draw and then a loss on time

The next unexpected results came from Chinese WGM Zhang Xiaomen (2339), who beat Armenian IM Lilit Mkrtchian (2479) in the rapid games,


Xiaomen giving the classic V for victory sign (at least we presume that is what it is)

and especially noteworthy Russian Baira Kovanova (2380) who trounced her compatriot Natalia Pogonina (2472) with a no-questions-asked 2-0 in the classical games, including a spectacular win in their second game.


Of all the upsets, Kovanova's was the most decisive, with two wins in the classic games

Kovanova,Baira (2380) - Pogonina,Natalija (2472) [B50]
WCh Women Antakya TUR (1.2), 05.12.2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.0-0 Nf6 5.Qe2 e6 6.c3 Be7 7.Bb3 0-0 8.d4 Qc7. 8...d5 9.e5 Ne4 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Bc2 f5 12.Be3 b6 13.Nbd2 a5 14.Bd3 Bd7 15.a4 Be8 16.Bb5 Ne7 17.Bxe8 Qxe8 18.Nb3 f4 1/2-1/2 Cicak,S (2552)-Kotronias,V (2585)/Cork 2005/CBM 105 ext 9.dxc5 dxc5 10.e5 Nd7. 10...Nd5 was better since e5 cannot be captured, and the text move hampers Black's development. 11.Bf4 Rd8 12.Nbd2 Nf8 13.Rad1 b6 14.Bg3 Bb7 15.Ne4 Rxd1 16.Rxd1 Rd8








17.Nf6+!? Though this should not win, it carries significant psychological weight, and Pogonina errs by try to play it 'safe', leading to almost immediate disaster. 17...Kh8? Taking with 17...gxf6 was not the end of the world. After 18.exf6 Rxd1+ 19.Qxd1 Qd7 20.Qxd7 Nxd7 21.fxe7 Nxe7 White is certainly better, but there is a lot of work to do to try and convert this.








18.Ng5! This, on the other hand, is winning. 18...Rxd1+ 19.Qxd1 Nd8. 19...gxf6 20.exf6 Qd7 21.Nxf7+ Kg8 22.Nh6+ Kh8 23.Qg4 20.Qh5 gxf6 21.exf6 Qc6








22.Bd5!! Absolutely brilliant! 22...Qe8. 22...Qxd5 23.Nxf7+ Nxf7 24.Qxd5 exd5 25.fxe7 and White queens.; 22...exd5 23.fxe7 23.Qh6 Bxf6 24.Qxf6+ Kg8 25.Be5 1-0. [Click to replay]

For those trying to follow the games live, a number of technical issues have made the first round difficult, with numerous transmissions being cut very early, but hopefully these will be ironed out by the next stage.


IM Elizabeth Paehtz sporting a new hairdo


Although forced into the tiebreaks, Paehtz won both her rapid games to pass to the
next round.


GM Hoang Thanh Trang, playing for Hungary, was also successful in the rapid games
against Chinese WGM Ding Yixin


GM Marie Sebag was fully focused in her no-nonsense win over Irina Vasilevich


This was perhaps a not-so-subtle message that the air-conditioning was too high?


Indian WGM Nadig Kruttika (2230) lost to her fellow Indian IM Harika Dronavalli (2525)


Hou Yifan had no trouble in her first round with over 500 Elo on her opponent

Pictures by Turkish Federation

 
Europe Echecs is providing daily video reports

Round one results

Name
FED
T
Rtg
G1
G2
Rp1
Rp2
Bz1
Bz2
SD
Total
Kosteniuk, Alexandra
RUS
GM
2507
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Mezioud, Amina
ALG
WIM
2029
0
0
0
Greeff, Melissa
RSA
WGM
2082
0
0
0
Koneru, Humpy
IND
GM
2600
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Hou, Yifan
CHN
GM
2591
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Heredia Serrano, Carla
ECU
WIM
2087
0
0
0
Mona, Khaled
EGY
WGM
2093
0
0
0
Kosintseva, Tatiana
RUS
GM
2581
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Dzagnidze, Nana
GEO
GM
2551
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Kagramanov, Dina
CAN
WIM
2101
0
0
0
Aliaga Fernandez, Ingrid Y
PER
WFM
2154
0
0
0
Stefanova, Antoaneta
BUL
GM
2548
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Muzychuk, Anna
SLO
IM
2530
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Zuriel, Marisa
ARG
WIM
2208
0
0
0
Yildiz, Betul Cemre
TUR
WIM
2225
½
1
ROUND 2
Cramling, Pia
SWE
GM
2526
½
0
½
Harika, Dronavalli
IND
IM
2525
½
1
ROUND 2
Nadig, Kruttika
IND
WGM
2230
½
0
½
Caoili, Arianne
AUS
WIM
2242
-
-
0
Ju, Wenjun
CHN
WGM
2524
+
+
2
ROUND 2
Lahno, Kateryna
UKR
GM
2522
1
½
ROUND 2
Ozturk, Kubra
TUR
WIM
2264
0
½
½
Demina, Julia
RUS
WGM
2323
0
0
0
Cmilyte, Viktorija
LTU
GM
2514
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Chiburdanidze, Maia
GEO
GM
2502
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Meenakshi Subbaraman
IND
WGM
2328
0
0
0
Soumya, Swaminathan
IND
WGM
2332
0
½
½
Socko, Monika
POL
GM
2495
1
½
ROUND 2
Sebag, Marie
FRA
GM
2494
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Vasilevich, Irina
RUS
IM
2333
0
0
0
Baginskaite, Camilla
USA
WGM
2336
0
1
0
½
Ruan, Lufei
CHN
WGM
2480
1
0
1
½
ROUND 2
Mkrtchian, Lilit
ARM
IM
2479
½
½
0
1
Zhang, Xiaowen
CHN
WGM
2339
½
½
1
1
3
ROUND 2
Lomineishvili, Maia
GEO
IM
2347
0
0
0
Zatonskih, Anna
USA
IM
2478
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Zhu, Chen
QAT
GM
2477
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Muminova, Nafisa
UZB
WIM
2360
0
0
0
Fierro Baquero, Martha L.
ECU
IM
2363
0
½
½
Zhao, Xue
CHN
GM
2474
1
½
ROUND 2
Paehtz, Elisabeth
GER
IM
2474
½
½
1
1
3
ROUND 2
Zawadzka, Jolanta
POL
WGM
2368
½
½
0
1
Ding, Yixin
CHN
WGM
2370
1
0
½
Hoang Thanh Trang
HUN
GM
2473
0
1
½
1
ROUND 2
Pogonina, Natalija
RUS
WGM
2472
0
0
0
Kovanova, Baira
RUS
WGM
2380
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Shadrina, Tatiana
RUS
WGM
2384
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Danielian, Elina
ARM
GM
2466
0
0
0
Muzychuk, Mariya
UKR
IM
2462
1
1
2
ROUND 2
Cori T., Deysi
PER
WGM
2384
0
0
0
Ovod, Evgenija
RUS
IM
2387
1
½
ROUND 2
Shen, Yang
CHN
WGM
2461
0
½
½
Ushenina, Anna
UKR
IM
2460
½
½
0
½
Huang, Qian
CHN
WGM
2402
½
½
1
½
ROUND 2
Foisor, Cristina-Adela
ROU
IM
2403
½
½
0
1
½
Skripchenko, Almira
FRA
IM
2460
½
½
1
½
1
ROUND 2
Dembo, Yelena
GRE
IM
2454
½
½
½
1
ROUND 2
Munguntuul, Batkhuyag
MGL
IM
2409
½
½
½
Romanko, Marina
RUS
IM
2414
½
1
ROUND 2
Zhukova, Natalia
UKR
GM
2447
½
0
½
Rajlich, Iweta
POL
IM
2446
-
-
0
Houska, Jovanka
ENG
IM
2421
+
+
2
ROUND 2
Khukhashvili, Sopiko
GEO
IM
2430
½
1
ROUND 2
Turova, Irina
RUS
IM
2439
½
0
½
 

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