Alisa Galliamova and Xu Yuhua in the finals

3/22/2006 – After both games on day one of the semifinals had ended in tough draws, the decision fell on day two, when both the white players prevailed. Alisa Galliamova of Russia beat Viktorija Cmilyte of Lithuania, while Xu Yuhua of China won a queen and pawn ending against Russian WGM Svetlana Matveeva. The finals begin on Thursday. Report.

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Women's World Championship

Ekaterinburg, Russia, March 10–27, 2006

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

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

So both the games on Moday ended in draws. The first between Russian WGM Svetlana Matveeva and her Chinese opponent Xu Yuhua was a long (80-move) struggle. The game on the other board was snappier and more volatile.


Svetlana Matveeva and Alisa Galliamova grab a coffee before the round

Cmilyte,V (2475) - Galliamova,A (2467) [D43]
FIDE WCh Women KO Ekaterinburg RUS (5.1), 20.03.2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 g5 7.Bg3 dxc4 8.e4 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Ne5 Rg8 12.Nxg4 Nh5 13.Be5 Nd7 14.g3 b4 15.Na4 c5 16.Bxc4 Bxe4 17.Rg1 Bc6 18.b3 Rg6 19.Qe2 f5 20.Ne3 Nxe5 21.dxe5 Nf4 22.Qf1 Nd5 23.0-0-0 Qd7 24.Qd3 Nb6 25.Qe2 Qc7 26.Nxb6 axb6 27.Nxf5 exf5 28.Qh5 Qg7 29.g4 Rxa2 30.gxf5 Ra1+ 31.Kd2 Ra2+ 32.Kc1 Ra1+ 33.Kd2 Ra2+ 34.Ke1 Qxe5+ 35.Kf1.

Black has been close to defeat large parts of the game. Now she comes up with a nice forced draw: 35...Rxf2+ 36.Kxf2 Qf4+ 37.Ke2 Qe5+ 38.Kd2 Qc3+ 39.Ke2 Qe5+ 40.Kd2 Qc3+ 41.Ke2 Qe5+ ½-½. [Click to replay]


The games of day two in the semifinals are under way


Alisa Galliamova of Russia vs Viktorija Cmilyte, game two

Galliamova,A (2467) - Cmilyte,V (2475) [E12]
FIDE WCh Women KO Ekaterinburg RUS (5.2), 21.03.2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 Be7 7.Qc2 c5 8.dxc5 bxc5 9.e3 d6 10.Be2 Nbd7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Rfd1 Qb6 13.Rd2 Rfd8 14.Rad1 a6 15.Ne1 Nf8 16.h3 Rac8 17.Bf3 Bxf3 18.Nxf3 Rd7 19.Rd3 Qc6 20.Qa4 Ng6 21.Qxc6 Rxc6 22.Bg3 Nf8 23.Nd2 Rb6 24.b3 Rc6 25.Nde4 Ne8 26.Na4 f5 27.Nd2 g5 28.f4 Nf6 29.Nf3 Ne4 30.Bh2 Rb7 31.fxg5 hxg5 32.g4 fxg4 33.hxg4 Nh7 34.Nc3 Nhf6 35.Nxe4 Nxe4 36.Kg2 Kg7 37.Nd2 Nf6 38.Kf3 Rb8 39.Ne4 Nxe4 40.Kxe4 Rd8 41.Bg3 Kg6 42.R3d2 Rb6 43.Be5 a5 44.Bc3 Ra6 45.a4 Rb8 46.Rb2 Ra7 47.Rh1

Until now Black has been defending capably and the game looks headed for a draw. 47...Rd8? Allows White to penetrateon the h-file: 48.Rbh2. The threat is the pin with Rh7, with R1h6+ to follow if Black tries to defend. 48...d5+ 49.Kd3 Bf8 50.Rh8 d4 51.exd4 cxd4 52.Bd2 Rf7 53.Rg8+ Rg7 54.Rxg7+ Bxg7 55.Bxa5. White is a pawn up and has three very powerful connected passers on the queenside. 55...Rf8 56.c5 e5 57.c6 Rf4 58.c7 e4+ 59.Kc4 Rf8 60.Re1 e3 61.Bb6 Rf2

This has gone horribly wrong for Black, and now she decides to defend against the promotion with a skewer (62.c8Q Rc2+ and 63...Rxc8). White has a chance to defuse this with 62.Bc5!, which also prevents the return of the rook to f8. An instant win. However Galliamova took the longer route: 62.Rc1 Rf8 63.Kd3 Rc8 64.Bxd4 Bxd4 65.Kxd4 e2 66.Re1 Rxc7 67.Rxe2 Rb7 68.Kc4 Rc7+ 69.Kb4 Rb7+ 70.Ka3 Rf7 71.a5 Rf4 72.b4 Rxg4 73.a6 Rf4 74.a7 Rf8 75.b5 1-0, thanks to the two connected passed pawns left on the queenside. [Click to replay]


Viktorija suffering during the game


Made it! Alisa Galliamova is in the finals


And the start of Xu Yuhua vs Svetlana Matveeva, game two of the semifinals

Xu Yuhua (2502) - Matveeva,S (2428) [C11]
FIDE WCh Women KO Ekaterinburg RUS (5.2), 21.03.2006
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Be3 cxd4 7.Qxd4 Nc6 8.Qd2 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nge2 Bb4 11.0-0-0 0-0 12.a3 Ba5 13.Qd3 Bd7 14.h3 a6 15.g4 b5 16.Bc5 Rf7 17.f5 b4 18.fxe6 Bxe6 19.axb4 Bxb4 20.Nf4 Bxc3 21.Qxc3 Ne4 22.Nxe6 Qc8 23.Qe3 Qxe6 24.Bg2 Rc8 25.Rhe1 Na5 26.Bxe4 dxe4 27.Qd4 Rfc7 28.b4 Nb7 29.Rxe4 Qa2 30.Qd5+ Qxd5 31.Rxd5 Nxc5 32.bxc5 Rxc5 33.Rxc5 Rxc5 34.Kd2 h5 35.Kd3 hxg4 36.hxg4 Kf7 37.c4 a5 38.Kd4 Rc8 39.c5 a4 40.Kd5 Rd8+ 41.Kc6 a3 42.Ra4 Rd3 43.Kb7 Rb3+ 44.Kc7 Ke6 45.c6 Rc3 46.Ra6 g5 47.Kd8 Rd3+ 48.Kc8 Rc3 49.c7+ Ke7 50.Ra5 Kd6 51.Ra6+ Ke7 52.Ra7 Rb3 53.Ra5 Rc3 54.Rxg5 a2 55.Ra5 Kd6 56.Ra6+ Rc6 57.Rxc6+ Kxc6 58.Kd8 a1Q 59.c8Q+ Kd5 60.Qd7+ Kc5 61.Qe7+ Kd5 62.Qf7+ Kd6 63.Qg6+ Kd5 64.g5

The two ladies have been struggling through a rook ending, both were able to promote and now they have the notoriously difficult queen and pawn vs queen ending. Only computers really understand how to play these positions, and our endgame database tells us that Black can hold a draw with 64...Qa8+, 64...Qd4 or 64...Qa5+. Every other move loses, including 64...Qe5? Mate in 37, says the silicon oracle. But White must play the move Xu Yuhua did: 65.Kd7! Qa1? Shortens the defence considerably, since now White has 66.Qc6+ with 67.Qf6+ and 68.Qxa1 to follow. 1-0. [Click to replay]


Sveta Matveeva, with arbiter Andrzej Filipowicz in the background


Victorious and in the semifinals: Xu Yuhua

Photos by courtesy of FIDE

Results of round five

 Name  Rtng  G1  G2  R1  R2  B1  B2  SD  Total
  Round 5 Match 01
  Cmilyte, Viktorija (LTU) 2475 ½ 0           0,5
  Galliamova, Alisa (RUS)  2467 ½ 1           1,5
  Round 5 Match 02
  Matveeva, Svetlana (RUS) 2428 ½ 0           0,5
  Xu, Yuhua (CHN) 2502 ½ 1           1,5

Schedule

Opening Ceremony/Players' meeting 10 March
Round 1: 2 days play + tiebreaks 11-12 March
Round 2: 2 days play + tiebreaks 13-14 March
Round 3: 2 days play + tiebreaks 15-16 March
Free Day 1 day free 17 March
Round 4: 2 days play + tiebreaks 18-19 March
Round 5: 2 days play + tiebreaks 20-21 March
Free Day 1 day free 22 March
Round 6: 4 days play 23-26 March
Tie-breaks/Closing Ceremony: 27 March

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