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Xu Yuhua is the eleventh Women's World Champion

3/25/2006 – After winning her first game and drawing the second, Chinese WGM Xu Yuhua today took the title at the Women's World Chess Championship by defeating her opponent, IM Alisa Galliamova of Russia, with the black pieces. According to our calculations this makes Xu the eleventh champion, since Vera Menchik first won the title in 1927. Congratulations Xu!
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Women's World Championship

Ekaterinburg, Russia, March 10–27, 2006

The World Women's Championship was held from 10-27 March 2006, in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

The knockout event had 64 participants, with reigning world champion Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria defending her title.

After drawing the second game with the black pieces Alisa Galliamova started well in this third game, a Queen's Indian/Nimzo hybrid, and in fact looked to be on the path to victory. However with move 40 and the first time control looming she started to slip and let Chinese WGM Xu Yuhua take the initiative. Then, instead of pragmatically playing for a draw, the Russian IM sought to retain her chances in a counter-attack, which failed. Xu won the point and with it the four-game match.

Galliamova,A (2467) - Xu Yuhua (2502) [E13]
FIDE WCh Women KO Ekaterinburg RUS (6.3), 25.03.2006
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 b6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qc2 Bb7 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 c5 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.Qxc3 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Ne4 11.Bxd8 Nxc3 12.Bc7 Na6 13.Bf4 Ne4 14.Nb5 g5 15.Be3 Ke7 16.Rd1 d5 17.f3 Nf6 18.Bd4 Rhd8 19.e3 Rd7 20.h4 Nc7 21.hxg5 hxg5 22.c5 a6 23.Nxc7 Rxc7 24.cxb6 Rc6 25.a4 Nd7 26.a5 Nc5 27.Bc3 Na4 28.Bb4+ Kf6 29.b3 Nc5 30.Rb1 Nd7 31.Be2 Rc2 32.Rh6+ Kg7 33.Rh5 Kf6 34.g3 Rac8 35.f4 gxf4 36.gxf4 Ra2 37.Rd1 Nc5 38.Bc3+ Ke7

Alisa Galliamova has been doing fine, but now, just two moves before the time control, she starts slipping. 39.f5 (39.Rh7 followed by 40.Bb4 would have been more convincing) 39...Ne4 40.Bb4+ Kf6 41.Bd3 Rg8. The white advantage has almost completely evaporated, Black is on the attack. 42.Rh6+ Ke5 43.Rh1 Rg3 44.Bxe4 Rxe3+ 45.Kf1 dxe4 46.fxe6 Kxe6 47.Rh6+ Kf5 48.Rd7. White abandons her king to launch her own attack. But this gets her into deep trouble.

48...Rf3+ 49.Ke1 Rxb3 50.Bd2 e3 51.Bc1 Rb1 52.Rc7 Bf3 53.Rhc6 (desperation) Bxc6 54.Rxc6 Raa1 55.Ke2 Rxa5 56.Bxe3 Rb2+ 57.Kf3 Rb3 58.Rc7 Re5 0-1.

The end of the game – Xu Yuhua is world champion!

Russian TV interview with the new champion

Signing autographs for fans

Yes, she can smile! Xu at the press conference

The runner-up in the 2006 world championship: Alisa Galliamova

Photos by courtesy of FIDE

Final results

  Name   Rtng  G1  G2  G3  G4  Total
Final Match
 Galliamova, Alisa (RUS)  2467 0 ½ 0   0
 Xu Yuhua (CHN) 2502 1 ½ 1   1

Full knockout table of results (click to enlarge)

List of all Women's World Champions

 1  Vera Menchik 1927–1944 United Kingdom
 2  Ludmilla Rudenko 1950–1953 Soviet Union
 3  Elisabeth Bikova 1953–1956 Soviet Union
 4  Olga Rubzowa 1956–1958 Soviet Union
 3  Elisabeth Bikova 1958–1962 Soviet Union
 5  Nona Gaprindashvili 1962–1978 Georgia
 6  Maya Chiburdanidze 1978–1991 Georgia
 7  Xie Jun 1991–1996 China
 8  Susan Polgar 1996–1999 Hungary
 7  Xie Jun 1999–2001 China
 9  Zhu Chen 2001–2004 China
10  Antoaneta Stefanova 2004–2006 Bulgaria
11  Xu Yuhua 2006– China


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