Alexandra Kosteniuk unwraps European Women's Rapid & Blitz titles

by André Schulz
12/3/2019 – Alexandra Kosteniuk won the women's European Rapid Chess Championship on tiebreak score ahead of Olga Girya after both finished with 9/11. Five players ended up a full point behind, with former women's world champion Antoaneta Stefanova getting third place. | Photos: European Chess Union

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Kosteniuk and Girya finish ahead

Monaco is currently the centre of women's chess. The second Grand Prix tournament for women in the 2019-20 series is getting underway. The European women's elite had a chance to warm up with the European Rapid and Blitz Championship, which attracted about 100 players to the Mediterranean enclave.

Anna and Mariya Muzychuk and Alexandra Kosteniuk topped the starting list, but a prominent participant was right behind them: Former World Champion Maia Chiburdanidze is ranked number four at 2475. 

Maia Chiburdanidze in 1984 | Photo: ECU

The new Women's European Rapid Champion, however, is Alexandra Kosteniuk. The Russian grandmaster and former world champion scored 9 points at the 11-round Swiss, and prevailed over Olga Girya, who collected the same amount of points but had a worse tiebreak score. In the penultimate round, Kosteniuk defeated Girya in their direct encounter. In the last round, Kosteniuk drew Elisabeth Paehtz, who had arrived as defending champion and ended up sharing 3rd to 8th places on eight points.

After the first day of action, Latvian Laura Rogule surprisingly led the field. Rogule won all her first six encounters of the tournament, but completely lost the thread on the second day. Anna and Mariya Muzychuk arrived as rating favourites with Kosteinuk, but the Ukrainian sisters could not quite live up to their ratings and finished with 7 and 7½ points respectively.

Former women's world champions and role models to many generations to come Nona Gaprindashvili and Maia Chiburdanidze participated in the competition. Chiburdanize scored 6½ points (26th place) after a long break from tournament play, while Nona Gaprindashvili scored 6 points and finished 34th. Their direct duel ended in favour of Chiburdanidze.

Gaprindashvili vs Chiburdanidze

Final standings (top 30)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Kosteniuk Alexandra 9,0 1,0
2 Girya Olga 9,0 0,0
3 Stefanova Antoaneta 8,0 0,0
4 Batsiashvili Nino 8,0 0,0
5 Gunina Valentina 8,0 0,0
6 Kashlinskaya Alina 8,0 0,0
7 Cramling Pia 8,0 0,0
8 Paehtz Elisabeth 8,0 0,0
9 Zhukova Natalia 7,5 0,0
10 Gaponenko Inna 7,5 0,0
11 Muzychuk Mariya 7,5 0,0
12 Rogule Laura 7,0 0,0
13 Muzychuk Anna 7,0 0,0
14 Osmak Iulija 7,0 0,0
15 Dornbusch Tatiana 7,0 0,0
16 Bensdorp-De Labaca Marlies 7,0 0,0
17 Berend Elvira 7,0 0,0
18 Michna Marta 7,0 0,0
19 Mkrtchian Lilit 7,0 0,0
20 Unuk Laura 7,0 0,0
21 Bodnaruk Anastasia 7,0 0,0
22 Salimova Nurgyul 7,0 0,0
23 Sebag Marie 6,5 0,0
24 Bulmaga Irina 6,5 0,0
25 Daulyte-Cornette Deimante 6,5 0,0
26 Chiburdanidze Maia 6,5 0,0
27 Belenkaya Dina 6,5 0,0
28 Guichard Pauline 6,5 0,0
29 Antova Gabriela 6,5 0,0
30 Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan 6,5 0,0

...107 Players

All games and commentary

 

European Women's Blitz Championship

The European Women's Blitz Championship was a 13-round Swiss tournament played on November 29th, 2019. The time control was 3 minutes for the entire game, plus 2-seconds per move starting from move one.

Here Kosteniuk finished in sole first place with 10/13 points, half point ahead of five of her peers.

Final standings (top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Kosteniuk Alexandra 10,0 0,0
2 Stefanova Antoaneta 9,5 0,0
3 Gunina Valentina 9,5 0,0
4 Sebag Marie 9,5 0,0
5 Zhukova Natalia 9,5 0,0
6 Kashlinskaya Alina 9,5 0,0
7 Muzychuk Anna 9,0 0,0
8 Bulmaga Irina 9,0 0,0
9 Mkrtchian Lilit 9,0 0,0
10 Michna Marta 8,5 0,0
11 Paehtz Elisabeth 8,5 0,0
12 Bodnaruk Anastasia 8,5 0,0
13 Dzagnidze Nana 8,5 0,0
14 Rogule Laura 8,5 0,0
15 Muzychuk Mariya 8,0 0,0
16 Babiy Olga 8,0 0,0
17 Reizniece-Ozola Dana 8,0 0,0
18 Savina Anastasia 8,0 0,0
19 Antova Gabriela 8,0 0,0
20 Benmesbah Natacha 8,0 0,0

Games and commentary

 

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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macauley macauley 12/4/2019 03:09
@Eori - Thanks. Corrected. We had some results missing in our internal live broadcast table.
Eori Eori 12/4/2019 03:43
"Here Kosteniuk finished in sole first place with 10/13 points, half point ahead of four of her peers."
According to the final standings (top 20) given, shouldn´t it say five of her peers instead four?
Stefanova, Gunina, Sebag, Zhukova & Kashlinskaya finished 9.5
I hope Kosteniuk will be back soon to have +2500 again in classical chess. For now, congrats to her for this achievement.
MedusaV4 MedusaV4 12/3/2019 04:45
My apologise meant Alexandra*
MedusaV4 MedusaV4 12/3/2019 04:43
Congrats Alexander
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