Nalchik R5: Kosteniuk through, Hou and Humpy in tiebreak

by ChessBase
9/11/2008 – GM Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia outplayed her Swedish opponent GM Pia Cramling in the first game of the semi-finals of the World Women's Championship, and then drew the second game to advance to the Final. Top seed GM Koneru Humpy of India lost her first game against Chinese prodigy Hou Yifan but won the second one, narrowly, to foced a tiebreak. Illustrated 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 five report

Results of round five

Nat. Name Rtng
Round 5 Match 01
RUS Kosteniuk, Alexsandra 2510
SWE Cramling, Pia 2544
Round 5 Match 02
CHN Hou, Yifan 2557
IND Koneru, Humpy 2622

The start of game one between GM Koneru Humpy and Hou Yifan (Hou won in 55 moves)

GM Pia Cramling faces GM Alexandra Kosteniuk in game one (Kosteniuk won in 36 moves)

The first day of the semifinals is under way

The two round one winners at the press conference: Hou Yifan and Alexandra Kosteniuk

The start of the second game between Alexandra Kosteniuk and Pia Cramling

Cramling,P (2544) - Kosteniuk,A (2510) [D37]
WCh-Women Nalchik RUS (5.2), 10.09.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e3 a6 6.Bxc4 b5 7.Be2 Bb7 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.b3 c5 10.Bb2 Bd6 11.a4 b4 12.Nb1 0-0 13.Nbd2 Rc8 14.Rc1 Bb8 15.h3 Qe7 16.Nc4 cxd4 17.Nxd4 Nc5 18.f4 Ba7 19.Kh2 Be4 20.Ne5 Rfd8 21.Bf3 Qb7 22.Bxe4 Nfxe4 23.Qe2 Bb8 24.Nc4 f6 25.Rc2 e5 26.fxe5 fxe5 27.Nf5 Kh8 28.Kg1 Nc3 29.Qg4 Rf8 30.Rcf2 Nd3 31.Nfd6 Bxd6 32.Nxd6 Nxf2 33.Rxf2 Qd5 34.Nxc8 Rxf2 35.Kxf2 Qd2+ 36.Kg3? Qe1+ 37.Kf3

White wins the match by forcing a repetition: 37...Qe2+ 38.Kg3 Qe1+ 39.Kf3 Qe2+ 40.Kg3 draw. Of course Sasha Kosteniuk could have taken the full point with 37.e4+ 38.Kf4 (38.Qxe4 Nxe4) 38...Qf2+ 39.Kg5 (39.Qf3 exf3; 39.Ke5 Qf6#) 39...Qf6+ 40.Kh5 Qh6#] 38.Kg3 Qe1+ 39.Kf3 Qe2+ 40.Kg3+–.

Semi-finalist Pia Cramling during her last game in Nalchik

The winner: Alexandra Kosteniuk advances to the Final

Hou Yifan vs Koneru Humpy in a fateful game

Koneru,H (2622) - Hou Yifan (2557) [A35]
WCh-Women Nalchik RUS (5.2), 10.09.2008
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.Nc2 Bg7 7.e4 d6 8.Be2 0-0 9.0-0 Be6 10.b3 a6 11.Rb1 Rb8 12.Bb2 Qa5 13.b4 Qd8 14.f4 b5 15.cxb5 axb5 16.Kh1 Qd7 17.Qd2 Rfd8 18.Ne3 d5 19.exd5 Nxd5 20.Nexd5 Bxd5 21.Bxb5 Qb7 22.Nxd5 Qxb5 23.Bxg7 Rxd5 24.Qc3 Rd3 25.Qa1 f6 26.a4 Qd5 27.Bh6 Rxb4 28.Rxb4 Nxb4 29.f5 g5 30.Qc1 Nc6 31.a5 Rd2 32.Rg1

The Chinese girl prodigy is on the offensive and should have no difficulty at least holding the position and advancing to the final. However not with the move 32...Nxa5?? Ignoring the back rank threat. Actually this allows a forced mate: 33.Qc8+ Qd8 34.Qe6+ Kh8 35.Qf7 Qg8 36.Qxe7 and now White is threatening 37.Qxf6 Qg7 38.Qxg7# for which there is no real defence 36...Rd6 37.Qxd6 Qf7 38.Qd8+ Qg8 39.Qxf6+ Qg7 40.Qxg7# or 36...Rd7 37.Qxf6+ Qg7 38.Re1 and mate to follow. 1-0. Very traumatic for Yifan, who was just a whisker away from eliminating the top seed in this tournament. Now they have to go into tie-break games on Friday.

Just a moment of inattention kept her from advancing to the final: Hou Yifan

Last minute save: Koneru Humpy forces the tie-break

Video reports by FIDE


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