Xu Yuhua wins the first game of queens

3/24/2006 – The Russian hosts were understandably a bit upset. Alisa Galliamova, finalist at the Women's World Championship in Ekaterinburg, showed great resolve and a determination to win. But in the queen ending she did so at the cost of weakening her position, which Chinese WGM Xu Yuhua used to take a critical lead in the match.

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Women's World Championship

Ekaterinburg, Russia, March 10–27, 2006

The World Women's Championship is being held from 10-27 March 2006, in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

The knockout event has 64 participants, with reigning world champion Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria defending her title.

Xu Yuhua played a French Defence (with 3.Nc3) and was herself not satisfied with the opening. And indeed things looked quite bright for Russian IM Alisa Galliamova. But a series of trades and some inaccuracies left her in an endgame bereft of her earlier advantages. But with queen and seven pawns on either side Alisa apparently decided that she was going to win the game anyway. Her active play proved to be fatal. The white position slowly worsened, Black took over the reins and at move 64 it was all over.


The start of the first game of the finals in Ekaterinburg

Galliamova,A (2467) - Xu Yuhua (2502) [C10]
FIDE WCh Women KO Ekaterinburg RUS (6.1), 23.03.2006
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Nbd7 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Nf3 h6 8.Be3 Nd5 9.Qd2 Bd6 10.0-0-0 Qe7 11.Ne5 Bd7 12.f4 Bxe5 13.dxe5 Nxe3 14.Qxe3 Bc6 15.Be2 0-0 16.Bf3 Bxf3 17.Qxf3 b6 18.Rd3 Rad8 19.Rhd1 Rxd3 20.Rxd3 Rd8 21.g3 a5 22.b3 g6 23.g4 Rxd3 24.Qxd3 Qh4 25.h3 Kg7 26.Kb2 Qf2 27.Qc4 c5 28.Qe4 b5 29.a4 b4 30.Qc4 h5 31.Qb5 Qd4+ 32.Kb1 Qxf4 33.Qxc5 hxg4 34.hxg4 Qxg4 35.Qxa5 Qd1+ 36.Kb2 Qd4+ 37.Ka2 Qc3 38.Kb1 g5

Hier Galliamova, already in considerable trouble, gives up a pawn: 39.Qd8 Qxe5 40.a5 g4 41.a6 g3 42.Qd2. White cannot survive the pawn race: 42.a7 g2 43.a8Q g1Q+ and Black mates. 42...Kg6 43.a7 Qe4 44.Qd8 g2 45.Qg8+ Kf6.

46.a8Q Qxa8 47.Qxa8 g1Q+ 48.Ka2. After this exchange Black has all she needs to take home the full point. 48...Qg4 49.Qd8+ Kg7 50.Qd3 e5 51.c4 Qg2+ 52.Ka1 Qg1+ 53.Ka2 Qf2+ 54.Kb1 Qe1+ 55.Ka2 e4 56.Qd4+ Kg6 57.c5 Qe2+ 58.Kb1 e3

59.Qd6+? Relinquishing control of the f2 square proves fatal. 59...f6 60.c6 Qe1+ 61.Kc2 Qf2+ 62.Kc1 e2 63.Qd3+ f5 64.Qd6+ Kh5 and White has no checks. 0-1. [Click to replay]


Did an overriding determination to win lose this game for Alisa Galliamova


With her black victory in game one (of four) Xu Yuhua has good chances to win the title


China's top-ranked GM, Ye Jiangchuan, is Xu's second

You may want to read Nigel Short's caustic commentary on the Women's World Championship format in Thursday's Guadian chess column.

Photos by courtesy of FIDE

Final results

  Name   Rtng  G1  G2  G3  G4  R1  R2  B1  B2  SD  Total
Final Match 01
 Galliamova, Alisa (RUS)  2467 0                 0
 Xu Yuhua (CHN) 2502 1                 1

Schedule

Opening Ceremony/Players' meeting 10 March
Round 1: 2 days play + tiebreaks 11-12 March
Round 2: 2 days play + tiebreaks 13-14 March
Round 3: 2 days play + tiebreaks 15-16 March
Free Day 1 day free 17 March
Round 4: 2 days play + tiebreaks 18-19 March
Round 5: 2 days play + tiebreaks 20-21 March
Free Day 1 day free 22 March
Round 6: 4 days play 23-26 March
Tie-breaks/Closing Ceremony: 27 March

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