Alexandra Kosteniuk wins Women's Blitz in Beijing

by ChessBase
10/7/2008 – The 1st World Mind Sports Games is currently taking place in Beijing, close to the venue of the 2008 Olympic Games. It features five mind sports: bridge, chess, go, draughts and xiangqi. In the chess section there are blitz, rapid, team and mixed competitions. Alexandra Kosteniuk won the Women's Blitz, in the men's section young Ukrainian GM Martyn Kravtsiv was successful. Report from Beijing.

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1st World Mind Sports Games

The 1st World Mind Sports Games is being held in China National Convention Center, located to the north of the main venues of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. It covers an area of 534,000 square meters, of which the conference center is 270,000 square meters.

The WMSG is a multi-game event featuring five mind sports: bridge, chess, go, draughts and xiangqi, which have the longest history, the widest popularity and widest influence in the world. In the Chess Section there are ten events: Chess Individual Blitz Women, Chess Individual Blitz Men, Chess Individual Rapid Women, Chess Individual Rapid Men, Chess Paris Blitz Mixed, Chess Paris Rapid Mixed, Chess Teams Blitz Women, Chess Teams Blitz Men, Chess Teams Rapid Women and Chess Teams Rapid Men.

Concept of the 1st WMSG

Some key figures from the organisers

  • There are 300 million players world wide
  • Chess is organised in 161 countries on 5 continents, with 800,000 affiliated members
  • The Fédération Internationale des Echecs (FIDE) was founded in 1924 in Paris, France. It is recognized by or affiliated to:
    • IOC (International Olympic Committee) as an International Sports Federation since 1999.
    • ARISF(Association of the IOC Recognized International Sports Federations).
    • GAISF(General Association of International Sports Federations).
    • IMSA(International Mind Sports Association).
  • The purpose and aim of FIDE is the diffusion and development of Chess among nations of the world, as well as the raising of peoples recognition of the competitive, scientific, creative and cultural nature of the game..
  • FIDE regular Championships
    • World Championship every two years
    • International Team Championships every two years
    • World Team Championship every four years
    • World Junior and Youth every year
    • World Seniors every year
    • World Schools Team and Individual Championships every year

Civilization Has Different Origins

The ancient Chinese civilization, the mysterious and remote past of the Egyptian civilization, and Greek civilization around the Aegean Sea are grand and magnificent, varied civilizations going along their own paths of development, evolving into varied, colorful and splendid cultures, planting, brewing and prospering in each local area and shaping into multi-culture, shining to each other, exploring new eras of human civilization.

Wisdom Has no Boundary

Civilizations vary greatly from place to place. Wisdom is eternally immutable. Wisdom and civilization are like germ and fruits to push society forward to carry loads and go on forever. Terminating domains, crossing races – wisdom makes people forget the very different skin colors for a long time, and talk freely about one dream.

Wisdom is creating the world and wisdom is changing the world. Wisdom has made the whole world a long time ago into one family, which uses wisdom and shares the boundlessness of wisdom with every effort.

The civilization of the whole of mankind has only one common starting point, from which human civilization cultivates characteristic eastern and western civilizations through different tracks.

However, while civilization has different origins, wisdom has no boundaries. The exchange of human wisdom can span cultural, regional and racial borders and make eastern and western culture develop harmoniously and mingle with mutual understanding, as well as unite mankind to become a big family aiming at common prosperity.


Date Time Event Round
October 3 12:00 Arrival  
    Opening Ceremony  
October 4 10:00 Technical Meeting  
15:00-19:00 Blitz Individual (Men & Women) Round 1 to 11
October 5 10:00-13:30 Blitz Individual (Men & Women) Semi-Finals, Finals
15:00-19:00 Rapid Individual (Men & Women) Rounds 1 to 3
October 6 10:00-13:30 Rapid Individual (Men & Women) Rounds 4 to 5
15:00-19:00 Rapid Individual (Men & Women) Rounds 6 to 7
October 7 10:00-13:30 Rapid Individual (Men & Women) Rounds 8 to 9
15:00-19:00 Rapid Individual (Men & Women) Semi-Finals
October 8 10:00-13:30 Rapid Individual (Men & Women) Finals
15:00-19:00 Blitz Pair Rounds 1 to 11
October 9 10:00-13:30 Blitz Pair Semi-Finals, Finals
15:00-19:00 Rapid Pair Rounds 1 to 2
October 10 10:00-13:30 Rapid Pair Rounds 3 to 4
15:00-19:00 Rapid Pair Rounds 5 to 6
October 11 10:00-13:30 Rapid Pair Round 7
15:00-19:00 Rapid Pair Rounds 8 to 9
October 12 10:00-13:30 Rapid Pair Semi-Finals
15:00-19:00 Rapid Pair Finals
October 13 10:00-13:30 Blitz Team (Men & Women) Rounds 1 to 5
  15:00-19:00 Blitz Team (Men & Women) Rounds 6 to 11
October 14 10:00-13:30 Blitz Team (Men & Women) Semi-Finals, Finals
15:00-19:00 Rapid Team (Men & Women) Rounds 1 to 2
October 15 10:00-13:30 Rapid Team (Men & Women) Rounds 3 to 4
15:00-19:00 Rapid Team (Men & Women) Rounds 5 to 6
October 16 10:00-13:30 Rapid Team (Men & Women) Round 7
15:00-19:00 Rapid Team (Men & Women) Rounds 8 to 9
October 17 10:00-13:30 Rapid Team (Men & Women) Semi-Finals
15:00-19:00 Rapid Team (Men & Women) Finals
October 18   Closing Ceremony & Departure  

First Champions

Women's Blitz

The hosts, China, have entered all their top players: in the Mens Individual Blitz, Wang Yue, Bu Xiangzhi, Ni Hua and Wang Hao are the top four seeds, and in the Women Individual Blitz, Hou Yifan is the top seed. But the Chinese have to contend with challenges from newly crowned World Women Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia and former World Woman Champion Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria.

The winner of the Women's Blitz competition: GM Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia

After taking the World Rapid Chess Championship and the World Chess Championship titles, the Queen of Russian chess, Alexandra Kosteniuk, won gold as well in the 1st World Mind Sports Games Blitz Individual Womens event. In the preliminary rounds, the top seeded young Chinese star Hou Yifan was a convincing winner, including a sixth round victory over Kosteniuk. Both qualified for the semi-finals together with the impressive ex World Champion GM Antoaneta Stefanova and Chinese player Zhao Xue.

Top seed Hou Yifan lost in the semi-final to former world champion Antoaneta Stefanova

In the first semi-final Stefanova defeated Hou 2-1, while Kosteniuk did not leave any chances to Zhao and won 2-0. In the final match, it was a difficult battle of world champions, but nerves told in the end and Stefanova lost 1-2 to Kosteniuk who was again a big winner.

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk vs GM Antoaneta Stefanova in the Women's Blitz Final

Three medalists: Antoaneta Stefanova, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Hou Yifan

Men's Blitz

In the Blitz Individual Men's event the Gold Medal went to the unfancied young Ukrainian GM Martyn Kravtsiv who surprised the strong competition to take the honors. This happened after the preliminary round winner GM Mark Paragua of the Philippines did not have a good start at the semi-final and lost 0-2 to GM Yuri Drozdovskij. In the other semi-final Kravtsiv defeated GM Chirstodoulos Banikas of Greece with a similar 2-0 score, and then repeated this achievement again against Drozdovskij in the all important final.

Martyn Kravtsiv (right) from Ukraine beat his compatriot Yuriy Drozdovsky (left)
to win the men's chess individual blitz of the First World Mind Sports Games

Information courtesy of FIDE


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