Nalchik R4: Kosteniuk, Humpy, Hou and Cramling in Semifinals

9/8/2008 – The top seeds have made it in the Women's World Championship. Indian GM Koneru Humpy, rated 2622, defeated Chinese WGM Shen Yang 2-0; Russian GM Alexandra Kosteniuk eliminated Anna Ushenina of Ukraine; 14-year-old Hou Yifan knocked out Lilit Mkrtchian of Armenian; and GM Pia Cramling of Sweden defeated GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria. Round four report.

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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.

Round four (complete)

Results of round four (complete)

Nat. Name Rtng
G1
G2
R1
R2
B1
B2
SD
Tot.
Round 4 Match 01
RUS Kosteniuk, Alexsandra 2510
½
1
         
1.5
UKR Ushenina, Anna 2476
½
0
         
0.5
Round 4 Match 02
IND Koneru, Humpy 2622
1
1
         
2.0
CHN Shen, Yang 2445
0
0
         
0.0
Round 4 Match 03
ARM Mkrtchian, Lilit 2436
½
0
         
0.5
CHN Hou, Yifan 2557
½
1
         
1.0
Round 4 Match 04
BUL Stefanova, Antoaneta 2550
0
½
         
0.5
SWE Cramling, Pia 2544
1
½
         
1.0


Alexandra Kosteniuk before the start of game two

Ushenina,A (2476) - Kosteniuk,A (2510) [E35]
WCh-Women Nalchik RUS (4.2), 07.09.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 c5 7.dxc5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Bg3 Ne4 10.e3 Qa5 11.Be5 0-0 12.Bd3 Nc6 13.Bxe4 Nxe5

14.Bxd5 is an obvious move, giving White a small but solid advantage. However Ushenina is in an adventurous mood: 14.Bh7+ Kg7 15.Bd3. No gain from this manoeuvre. 15...b6 16.cxb6 d4! 17.exd4? 17.Nge2 would have been a better choice. 17...Nxd3+ 18.Qxd3 Re8+ 19.Kd1 Bf5 20.Qd2 Bxc3 21.Qxc3 Qxb6 22.Ne2 Rac8 23.Qa3 Rc2 24.Re1 Rd8 25.Qe3 Qxb2 26.Rc1 Re8 0-1, and Anna of the Ukraine is out of the competition.


Knocked out: Anna Ushenina of Ukraine


In the semi-finals: Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia

Koneru,H (2622) - Shen Yang (2445) [D11]
WCh-Women Nalchik RUS (4.1), 07.09.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.cxd5 Bxf3 6.Qxf3 cxd5 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.Bd3 e6 9.0-0 Bd6 10.Bd2 0-0 11.Qh3 Rc8 12.Rac1 g6 13.f4 a6 14.g4 Kh8 15.Kh1 Rg8 16.Be1 Be7 17.Bg3 h5 18.f5 Nxg4 19.fxg6 fxg6 20.Rf7 Rg7 21.Bxg6 Rxg6 22.Qxh5+ Rh6 23.Qxg4 Qg8 24.Qf4 Bg5 25.Qf3 Rh7 26.Rxh7+ Qxh7

The grandmaster from India – the second-strongest female player in the history of the game – has reached a winning position. This is how she converts her advantage: 27.Nxd5 exd5 28.Be5+ Kg8 29.Rg1 Nxe5 30.Rxg5+ Ng6 31.Qxd5+ 1-0.


No chance against Humpy: Chinese WGM Shen Yang


Top favourite and world number two female player Koneru Humpy

Stefanova,A (2550) - Cramling,P (2544) [D10]
WCh-Women Nalchik RUS (4.1), 07.09.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3 Bf5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Qb3 Qc7 6.Nc3 e6 7.Bd2 Nc6 8.Rc1 Nf6 9.Nf3 Nd7 10.Nh4 Bg6 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.e4 Nxd4 13.Qa4 Nc6 14.exd5 exd5 15.Bf4 Qd8 16.Nxd5 Nc5 17.Qc4 Ne6 18.Be3 Bd6 19.Rd1 0-0 20.b4? Rc8 21.Qb3 Qh4 (did Antoaneta Stefanova overlook this move?) 22.Bd3 Nxb4 23.Bb1 Nxd5 24.Rxd5 Bb4+ 25.Kf1 Rc3 26.Qd1 Qc4+ 27.Kg1 Bc5 28.Rxc5 Nxc5 29.h4 Ne6 30.h5 Rd8 31.Qe1 Nf4 32.g3 Ne2+ 33.Kh2 Rd5 34.Kg2 Rxh5 35.Rxh5 gxh5 36.Qd2 g6 37.Qd8+ Kh7

White is in desperate trouble and must try using tricks. 38.Bxg6+ fxg6 39.Qe7+ Kg8 40.Qe8+ Kg7 41.Qe7+ Qf7 42.Bh6+ Kg8 43.Qxe2 Kh7. To no avail – Black is still winning. 44.Be3 Qc4 45.Qd2 Rd3 46.Qe2 Qd5+ 47.f3 Ra3 48.Bf2 Qf7 49.Qe4 Rxa2 50.Kg1 Qc7 51.g4 Qc1+ 52.Be1 Qc5+ 53.Kf1 Qb5+ 54.Kg1 Re2 0-1.


Knocked out: former women's world champion Antoaneta Stefanova


Easily the most experienced player in the Championship: GM Pia Cramling of Sweden

Hou Yifan (2557) - Mkrtchian,L (2436) [B13]
WCh-Women Nalchik RUS (4.2), 07.09.2008
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qc8 8.Nd2 e6 9.Ngf3 Be7 10.0-0 Bh5 11.Ne5 Bg6 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.h3 Nh5 14.Bh2 Bg5 15.f4 Be7 16.Nf3 Nf6 17.Rae1 Bd6 18.Ne5 Ne7 19.Qa4+ Kf8 20.Qc2 Bc7 21.Rf3 Nf5

Watch Hou's attack unfold: 22.g4 Nd6 23.Bxg6 fxg6 24.Nxg6+ Kf7 25.Nxh8+ Qxh8 26.f5 Re8 27.Bxd6 Bxd6 28.fxe6+ Rxe6 29.Rxe6 Kxe6 30.Qf5+ Ke7 31.g5 Ne8 32.Qc8 Qh5 33.Re3+ Kf8 34.Qf5+ Qf7 35.Qh7 Bh2+. One last trick. 36.Kg2. White must not capture. 36...Nd6 37.Qh8+ Qg8 38.Qxg8+ 1-0.


Knocked out: Lilit Mkrtchian of Armenia


Who can stop Hou? The 14-year-old on the way to the top

Video reports by FIDE


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