Festive opening at the Women's World Championship in Nalchik

8/30/2008 – The Presidents of the World and Russian Chess Federations were there, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and the Kabardino-Balkaria President. But not the Georgian players, and some international participants, who did not attend due to the Russian-Georgian conflict. They lost their games by default. Otherwise most of the top seeds won their first games comfortably. Big pictorial report with video.

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The Women's World Championship 2008 is taking place from August 28th to September 18th in Nalchik, in the Kabardino-Balkaria region of Russia. 64 players were eligible to play in the knock-out event, which has a prize fund of US $450,000. Due to the tensions in the region the Georgian players and a few others decided not to participate.

After the pre-tournament turmoil, in which the Georgian and other players protested and the FIDE President appealed to them and then to the Georgian president ("Do not mix politics and sport") we had to wait until the start of the first round to see who would turn up and who wouldn't. All the Georgians – Chiburdanidze, Gvetadze, Javakhishvili, Khukhashvili, Khurtsidze, Lomineishvili – were absent, as were a few others: Tea Bosboom Lanchava, Karen Zapata, Marie Sebag, Irina Krush and Ekaterina Korbut. They all lost their first game by default.

In the following table we can see that the top seeds generally won their games. The first upset is to be found on board 13, where 13th seed Natalia Zhukova of Ukraine lost to 52nd seed Katherine Rohonyan of the US. The next: 16th seed Elisabeth Paehtz, former Girl's Junior World Champion from Germany, lost to 49th seed Ilaha Kadimova of Azerbaijan. The defaulted players are shown in red.

Bd SNo Player Nat.
Result
Player Nat.
1

1-64

Xu, Yuhua CHN
1-0
Solomons, Anzel RSA
2

63-2

Alaa El Din, Yorsa EGY
0-1
Koneru, Humpy IND
3

3-62

Hou, Yifan CHN
1-0
Khaled, Mona EGY
4

61-4

Zapata, Karen PER
-+
Stefanova, Antoaneta BUL
5

5-60

Cramling, Pia SWE
1-0
Sanchez Castillo, Sarai VEN
6

59-6

Gasik, Anna POL
+-
Sebag, Marie FRA
7

7-58

Zhao, Xue CHN
1-0
Zuriel, Marisa ARG
8

57-8

Muminova, Nafisa UZB
0-1
Kosintseva, Tatjana RUS
9

9-56

Kosteniuk, Alexandra RUS
1-0
Pourkashiyan, Atousa IRI
10

55-10

Golubenko, Valentina CRO
0-1
Cmilyte, Viktorija LTU
11

11-54

Muzychuk, Anna SLO
1-0
Velcheva, Maria BUL
12

53-12

Zakurdjaeva, Irina RUS
0-1
Ruan, Lufei CHN
13

13-52

Zhukova, Natalia UKR
0-1
Rohonyan, Katherine USA
14

51-14

Nguyen, Thi Thanh An VIE
+-
Chiburdanidze, Maya GEO
15

15-50

Hoang Thanh Trang HUN
1-0
Arribas Robaina, Maritza CUB
16

49-16

Kadimova, Ilaha AZE
1-0
Paehtz, Elisabeth GER
17

17-48

Ushenina, Anna UKR
1-0
Le Thanh Tu VIE
18

47-18

Foisor, Sabina-Francesca ROM
 1/2
Socko, Monika POL
19

19-46

Krush, Irina USA
-+
Sedina, Elena ITA
20

45-20

Zhang Jilin CHN
1/2
Gaponenko, Inna UKR
21

21-44

Javakhishvili, Lela GEO
-+
Amura, Claudia ARG
22

43-22

Nebolsina, Vera RUS
0-1
Harika, Dronavalli IND
23

23-42

Kosintseva, Nadezhda RUS
1-0
Mohota, Nisha IND
24

41-24

Gvetadze, Sopio GEO
- -
Korbut, Ekaterina RUS
25

25-40

Zatonskih, Anna USA
+ -
Bosboom Lanchava, Tea NED
26

39-26

Kachiani-Gersinska, K GER
1/2
Shen, Yang CHN
27

27-38

Mkrtchian, Lilit ARM
1/2
Moser, Eva AUT
28

37-28

Tan Zongyi CHN
1/2
Tania, Sachdev IND
29

29-36

Bojkovic, Natasa SRB
1/2
Ju, Wenjun CHN
30

35-30

Mongontuul, Bathuyang MGL
1-0
Rajlich, Iweta POL
31

31-34

Lomineishvili, Maia GEO
- -
Khukhashvili, Sopiko GEO
32

33-32

Matveeva, Svetlana RUS
+ -
Khurtsidze, Nino GEO

Picture Gallery


Start of the game WGM Elisabeth Paehtz, Germany, 2481, vs WGM Ilaha Kadimova, Azerbaijan, 2324, with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Kabardino-Balkaria President Arsen Kanokov looking on. Elisabeth Paehtz lost with the black pieces.


The two Presidents, Ilyumzhinov and Kanokov, chat with Chief Arbiter Zsuzsa Veröci


Upset: WGM Natalia Zhukova, UKR, 2489 lost with white to WGM Katherine Rohonyan, USA, 2321


The playing venue, with the games of the very first round under way


A huge banner across the acade of the Musical Theatre in the center of Nalchik


The entry hall of Hotel “Sindica”, where the games of the Championship are being played


The giant poster in the entrance hall says it all

The Opening Ceremony


A giant float used to commemorate the opening of the Women's World Championship


The mimes in thematic costumes


A stage performance at the opening ceremony


Standard bearers for the nations that are represented at the tournament in Nalchik


France is represented although the only French player, Marie Sebag, is absent


The Russian Chess Federation President and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov holds the greeting speech to the participants at the opening ceremony


A traditional dance routine from the Kabardino-Balkaria region...


... with the famous one-legged Kabardino dancers (just kidding – they are in mid-step)


Girls in chess hats, and other remarkable dance routines


The next generation is ready to take over


You cannot start them off early enough


The youngest Kabardino dancer in the troupe

All photos courtesy of FIDE

Video reports by FIDE

You will get a great impression of the exuberance of the opening ceremony from this video – don't miss it!

Schedule

Thursday 28  August Opening Ceremony/Player's Meeting
Friday 29 August Round 1, game 1
Saturday 30 August Round 1, game 2
Sunday 31 August Tiebreaks
Monday 01 September   Round 2, game 1
Tuesday 02 September Round 2, game 2
Wednesday  03 September Tiebreaks
Thursday 04 September Round 3, game 1
Friday 05 September Round 3, game 2
Saturday 06 September Tiebreaks
Sunday 07 September Round 4, game 1
Monday 08 September Round 4, game 2
Tuesday 09 September Tiebreaks
Wednesday 10 September Round 5, game 1
Thursday 11 September Round 5, game 2
Friday 12 September Tiebreaks
Saturday 13 September Free Day
Sunday 14 September Round 6, game 1
Monday 15 September Round 6, game 2
Tuesday 16 September Round 6, game 3
Wednesday 17 September Round 6, game 4
Thursday 18 September Tiebreaks/Closing Ceremony

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 ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access to the server. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.


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