2010 Women's World Championship – Armageddon

12/12/2010 – It was an exciting round, and while the Elo favorites Koneru and Yifan went through smoothly, it also marked the end of Kosteniuk's title defense after she lost to Ruan Lufei. Skripchenko, facing Cmilyte, was once again saved in the tiebreak by her superior blitz skills. Indian Hakira and Muzychuk had an epic match that went the distance. Read what happened in the round three 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.


Third round action

Round three


A sad day for Alexandra Kosteniuk's fans as she lost to Chinese WGM Ruan Lufei

The fourth round saw the departure of World Champion Kosteniuk after she failed to beat Chinese WGM Ruan Lufei in the classical games and then lost the opening rapid. Top rated Koneru and Yifan passed their test, though Yifan had a surprising lapse when she lost her second game and was forced into the rapid tiebreakers.


Hou Yifan had a scare after she lost her second game and was forced into a tiebreak


She quickly recovered though and passed to the next stage

World Women’s Blitz champion, Kateryna Lahno had a smooth match against Huang Qian, winning her first game and drawing her second, while Anna Muzychuk (2530) was downed by Chinese Ju Wenjun (2524).


Once again a blitz tiebreaker decided Almira's fate and once
again she was up to the challenge.

Then there were the real nailbiters, the first of which was Lithuanian GM Viktorija Cmilyte (2514) against Almira Skripchenko (2460). After being forced into the tiebreaker with two draws, neither player was able to gain an edge in the rapid games either. It was in the blitz games that Skripchenko once again showed her inclination by winning both games and passing into the last eight.


It was a tense exciting match for all

It is worth mentioning that the ‘blitz’ games are not your standard speed chess, and come very close to rapid game time controls with five minutes for each player and a 10-second increment as of the first move. In other words, after 30 moves, each player will have had ten minutes and fifteen should it last 60 moves.

The most exciting match however was between Indian junior IM Dronavalli Harika (2525) and Ukrainian IM Mariya Muzychuk (2462). Their classical games needed in two draws, and the rapid saw Harika win the first, but Mariya strike back in the second. Then came the ‘blitz’ games where Muzychuk struck first, and Harika came back with a win to force the match into the armageddon stage.


Indian Dronavalli Hakira had an epic match against Ukrainian Mariya Muzychuk

The armageddon was also not your usual fare, and featured five minutes for white, and four for black, with a draw favoring black. So far so normal, but if the games should reach 60 moves, both players would then receive a 3-second increment per move thereafter. Since no one actually keeps track of the number of moves played in blitz game, this is only possible with electronic boards and clocks. Harika won the draw and chose black, but things went bad in an Italian, and she soon found herself in growing trouble. Both players were very tense, and despite being winning, Mariya knew that there was no room for error and absolutely had to win. Indecision grew and the miracle for Harika happened: Muzychuk overstepped her time and lost.


The peaceful zen look on her face, hardly bespeaks the tense
trials the 19-year-old Indian went through
.

Pictures by Turkish Federation

 
Europe Echecs is providing daily video reports

Round three results

Name
FED
Tit.
Rtg
G1
G2
Rp1
Rp2
Bz1
Bz2
SD
Total
  Round 3 Match 01
Kosteniuk, Alexandra
RUS
GM
2507
½
½
0
½
Ruan, Lufei
CHN
WGM
2480
½
½
1
½
  Round 3 Match 02
Koneru, Humpy
IND
GM
2600
1
½
Zatonskih, Anna
USA
IM
2478
0
½
½
  Round 3 Match 03
Hou, Yifan
CHN
GM
2591
1
0
½
1
Zhu, Chen
QAT
GM
2477
0
1
½
0
  Round 3 Match 04
Zhao, Xue
CHN
GM
2474
1
½
Dembo, Yelena
GRE
IM
2454
0
½
½
  Round 3 Match 05
Cmilyte, Viktorija
LTU
GM
2514
½
½
½
½
0
0
2
Skripchenko, Almira
FRA
IM
2460
½
½
½
½
1
1
4
  Round 3 Match 06
Lahno, Kateryna
UKR
GM
2522
1
½
Huang, Qian
CHN
WGM
2402
0
½
½
  Round 3 Match 07
Muzychuk, Anna
SLO
IM
2530
0
½
½
Ju, Wenjun
CHN
WGM
2524
1
½
  Round 3 Match 08
Harika, Dronavalli
IND
IM
2525
½
½
1
0
0
1
1
4
Muzychuk, Mariya
UKR
IM
2462
½
½
0
1
1
0
0
3

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

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