Women's World Championship

by ChessBase
5/25/2004 – With the controversy around venue and security in the past, the games finally began in Elista, Kalmykia. The top seeds started strong, all moving into the second round. The second round concludes tomorrow. The savvy veterans are going to have their hands full with the teenagers soon enough.

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Top seeds dominate in Elista

FIDE 2004 Women's World Chess Championship

Elista, Kalmykia

May 21 – June 8

Official Site
(source of photos)

• View games online and download PGN:
Round 1R2 • R3 • R4 • R5 •

Round 1 results Round 2 results

The women's world championship finally found a home and now the players can concentrate on chess. Not that it's easy to concentrate under the new FIDE time control or when you have to play rapid and blitz playoff games on the same day as the main game. Stress management becomes easily as important as good moves under these conditions, but the fact remains that almost all of the top-rated players smoothly moved into the second round. (Well, we're not sure smoothly is the right word in every case, especially since some of the gamescores are clearly not correct, even for blitz.)

We couldn't count 64, can you?

The top seed in Elista is India's Humpy Koneru. Still young at 17 she hasn't made much of a move since coming out as the next big thing three years ago. She's playing a lot, but many of her games are like those in the 2003 Indian women's event, which she predictably dominated. This is her first world championship and so far she's playing like the favorite, winning three games straight and needing only a draw tomorrow to advance to the third round.

Humpy is also clearly the Asian flag-carrier now that the impressive Chinese delegation was decimated in the first round. Former title holder Xie Jun and current champion Zhu Chen aren't there, but China still arrived with seven players. (As did Georgia. Russia had nine!) Only three of the Chinese players made it to the second round. The western hemisphere was cruelly treated in the first round. Only Irina Krush of the USA survived to carry the flag for the Americas.

The other favorites are a mix of well-known veterans like Galliamova and legend Maia Chiburdanidze and other representatives of the youth movement like Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine and Germany's Elisabeth Paehtz. Lahno appeared on the scene so quickly that to participate she had to be specially nominated by FIDE president Ilyumzhinov when Georgian star Ioseliani withdrew.

The time control is the new "FIDE control" despised by most players. It's ninety minutes to start plus thirty seconds per move, with no additional controls. ("Two hours of thinking and two hours of time trouble" according to one wit.) If the match is tied after the second game, they players take a short break and then (on the same day) play two games of rapid chess (25' + 10"). If they are still even it's two games of blitz (5' + 10" according to the rules, a long increment for a blitz game).

If it's still tied up they play a sudden death game. Lots are drawn and the winner chooses color. White gets six minutes, black five, no increment. The loser is eliminated and if the game is drawn Black moves on. We saw four of these "armageddon" games in the first round. Ah chess, RIP.

It's a long way to travel for the 32 players who head home after just two days in Kalmykia. The first-round losers (call it an appearance fee) still get three thousand dollars, more if they lose on tiebreaks. The winner, the new women's world champion, will take home $48,000, double the prize of the second-place finisher. Here are the results of today's games, the first of the second round.

Round 2 - Player on the left has white in game one
Koneru, Humpy Peng, Zhaoqin
Lomineishvili, Maia Galliamova, Alisa
Chiburdanidze, Maia Sebag, Marie
Bojkovic, Natasa Matveeva, Svetlana
Lahno, Kateryna Polovnikova, Ekaterina
Mkrtchian, Lilit Cramling, Pia
Stefanova, Antoaneta Vasilevich, Tatjana
Paehtz, Elisabeth Zhao Xue
Xu Yuhua Danielian, Elina
Kosintseva, Nadezhda Zhukova, Natalia
Kosteniuk, Alexandra Cmilyte, Viktorija
Alexandrova, Olga Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina
Krush, Irina Kachiani, Ketino
Peptan, Corina-Isabela Jackova, Jana
Dzagnidze, Nana Radziewicz, Iweta
Hoang, Thanh Trang Kosintseva, Tatiana

Good chess is always hard to find with these time controls, but there are always plenty of blunders and tactics. (We aren't chauvinist; the same goes for the European Championship currently underway with the same control.)

Kovalevskaya – Lujan, Round 1

White finished off nicely with 24.Rxe6 Rxe6 25.Rxf5! winning the queen for two rooks after 25...c4 26.Rxf6 Rfxf6 27.h3 (Black was threatening mate on e1) 27...cxb3 28.axb3.

The white passed pawns and queen were too much for the rooks.


Arribas – Krush, Round 1

White picks an unfortunate retreat square for her queen with 21.Qg4? instead of the superior 21.Qe3. Krush exploited the slip immediately with 21...Rd4! and the white queen is in trouble. 22.Qh5 Qa5 pins the bishop so White bailed out, giving up the queen for rook and bishop with 23.Bxf6 Qxh5 24.Bxd4.

White held on until move 40 without any real chances of holding the game.


Khaziyeva – Galliamova, Round 1

One of the favorites got an easy point when her opponent committed a beginner's mistake in the opening by playing 7.Bg5? Galliamova quickly snapped up a pawn with 8...Bxf2+! It's hard to say what's worse, but 9.Kxf2 Ng4+ 10.Ke1 Qxg5 isn't very tempting.

White played 8.Kf1 Bxg1 9.Kxg1 and as the old saying goes, Black had the pawn AND the compensation.


Paridar – Zhao Xue, Round 1

Black takes advantage of her powerful bishop with the surprising 18...Nxg2! 19.Kxg2 Nf5 and there is no way White can prevent ..Nh4, regaining the piece. 20.Qf4 g5 21.Qc1 Nh4+ and White resigned a few moves later.

Round 1 Winner Eliminated
Koneru, Humpy Van der Merwe, Cecile
1-0, 1-0
Galliamova, Alisa Khaziyeva, Dinara
1-0, 1-0
Chiburdanidze, Maia Arouche, Farida
1-0, 1/2
Matveeva, Svetlana Houli, Asma
1-0, 1-0
Lahno, Kateryna Morales, Mendoza Luciana
1-0, 1/2
Cramling, Pia Hahn, Anna
1-0, 1/2
Stefanova, Antoaneta Tan, Zhongyi
1-0, 1-0
Zhao, Xue Paridar, Shadi
1-0, 1-0
Xu, Yuhua Tkeshelashvili, Sopio
1/2 1/2, 1-0 1-0
Zhukova, Natalia Petrenko, Svetlana
1/2 1/2, 1/2 1-0
Kosteniuk, Alexandra Sergeeva, Maria
1-0, 1-0
Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina Lujan, Carolina
1-0, 1-0
Krush, Irina Arribas, Maritza
1-0, 1/2
Jackova, Jana Skripchenko, Almira
1/2, 1-0
Dzagnidze, Nana Shahade, Jennifer
1-0, 1/2
Kosintseva, Tatiana Huang, Qian
1-0 0-1, 1/2 1-0
Hoang Thanh, Trang Le, Kieu Thien Kim
1/2, 1-0
Radziewicz, Iweta Meenakshi, Subbaraman
1/2, 1-0
Peptan, Corina-Isabela Goletiani, Rusudan
1-0, 1/2
Kachiani-G., Ketino Nguyen, Thi Thanh An
1/2 1/2, 1-0 0-1, 0-1 1-0, 1/2
Alexandrova, Olga Matnadze, Ana
1/2, 1-0
Cmilyte, Viktorija Harika, Dronavalli
1-0, 1-0
Kosintseva, Nadezhda Javakhishvili, Lela
1-0 0-1, 1-0 1-0
Danielian, Elina Sedina, Elena
1/2 1/2, 1/2 1-0
Paehtz, Elisabeth Wang, Pin
1-0, 1-0
Vasilevich, Tatjana Xu, Yuanyuan
0-1 1-0, 0-1 1-0, 1-0 1-0
Mkrtchian, Lilit Socko, Monika
0-1 1-0, 1-0 0-1, 1/2 1/2, 1-0
Polovnikova, Ekaterina Khurtsidze, Nino
Bojkovic, Natasa Wang, Yu
1/2, 1-0
Sebag, Marie Pogonina, Natalija
1/2, 1-0
Lomineishvili, Maia Slavina, Irina
1/2, 1-0
Peng, Zhaoqin Dworakowska, Joanna
1-0 0-1, 0-1 1-0, 1/2 1/2, 1-0

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