Blitz Challenge with top female players

by ChessBase
10/31/2020 – On Wednesday (October 28), we had a special event. Two top female players played against amateurs for 1½ hours on Playchess. The games were commented on by host Sagar Shah, and you could hear the two discussing what to play. A wonderfully entertaining – and instructive -- session. If you missed it live you can watch it all on YouTube. And replay the games they played, following the moves with an engine running in the background. It's fun, and you can learn a lot. The girls are thoroughly delightful.

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The two young ladies were in the Muzychuk flat in Lviv, Ukraine, where Elisabeth Pähtz, Germany's top female player, was visiting the sisters Anna and Mariya Muzychuk, numbers six and seven in the world. They played against Premium members of the ChessBase Account. The time control were 3 min + 2 sec increment. The games were commentated by IM Sagar Shah, who analyzed them with the masters after each game was over! It was the perfect was for lucky Playchess members to match their wits against great chess talents, and at the same time learn from the commentary and post-game analysis sessions.

Unfortunately Mariya was indisposed and did not take part, but it was a treat to watch Elli and Anna play. The former kept looking for aggressive continuations, the latter was in favour of more strategic play. They made alternating moves. That compensated, to some extent, for their rating advantage. The two average over 2500. You can watch the entire show here:

And while you are watching you can replay the games here:


Note that you can click the fan button below the board to switch on an engine to analyse. You can see what the engine thinks of each move, or enter alternatives and see what could have been done. Clicking on the notation on the right jumps to the corresponding position. And if you want to watch the games carefully there is a maximize button to go full screen. The two were using Lizzy Pähtz' Playchess account, which is why only her name appears in the headers.

The event was staged by ChessBase India, which has 479,000 subscribers on YouTube, with up to 35 million views of individual videos.

Elisabeth Pähtz is a former European Women's Rapid Chess Champion, and currently among the top 20 in the world! At the age of nine years she won her first German championship, in the under-11 age group. In 1999 she became Germany's women's chess champion and is currently Germany's top female player. She did her last Blitz Challenge last Thursday: you can watch the recording on YouTube here.

Anna Olehivna Muzychuk is a Ukrainian grandmaster, the fourth woman (after Judit Polgar, Humpy Koneru and Hou Yifan), to cross the 2600 Elo rating mark. Anna won the Women's World Rapid Chess Championship in 2016, and the Women's World Blitz Chess Championship in 2014 and 2016.

There is a Ukrainian postage stamp with the two Muzychuk sisters.

Recently Elli wrote a fine article on her friend Anna, when the two met up at the ChessBase office, where they were recording video interviews.

We will be doing more interesting Blitz Challenges in the future, with prominent and interesting players. Prepare for some nice surprises.

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