Sunday, March 22, 2015

Women's World Championship Sochi 2015 Round 3 Pairings

Women's World Championship 2015 in Sochi has reached sweet 16 phase. Round 3 will start tonight with remaining 16 players that passed through the round 2 battle. There are drama as always in round 2 and its tie break session. The best games so far are Alexandra Kosteniuk's 23..Nc5!! breakthrough against Shen Yang as mentioned in many mainstream chess media.

Shen Yang vs Alexandra Kosteniuk

I particularly also impressed with Natalia Pogonina's win against 2nd seed Ju Wenjun. The games went into endgame that required winning moves to be played. Natalia Pogonina found them all, not always Stockfish's first choice, but it's winning moves. The thing is, Ju Wenjun also played resiliently and played the best defensive moves. Ju Wenjun actually has many tricks in defending the position, including checkmate trick. Natalia Pogonina saw them all and win this game.

Natalia Pogonina vs Ju Wenjun 1-0, Sochi WCC 2015

In the round 2 tie break session, the drama was when Anna Ushenina failed to show up to played against Marie Sebag. The reason is Anna's handphone got switch off and when restart, the time in the handphone show another time zone, one hour behind from Sochi time zone. Quite amusing to think when nowday smartphone is smart enough to automatically adjusting time zone according to where its activated. More interestingly, Anna has a wrist watch actually.....

Of hard fought round 2 tie break are Harika Drovanalli vs Irina Krush. In the first rapid tie break, Irina playing white side and quickly went down after the opening. In fact, Irina seems don't have any concrete opening against Harika in all her games. In drama start when in a position where Irina completely lost, both playing in only 20 seconds left, and both seemingly missed and found any check mated that can occured. In the end, the position is just too losing for Irina and she lost. In the second rapid Harika finally got into trouble but Irina just can't find the killing moves.

Irina Krush vs Harika Dronavalli 0-1, Sochi WCC 2015

The longest game to finished in the tie break is Huang Qian vs Bela Khotenashvili. Both trade peace offer for seven games, until finally Bela won the first blitz games and going through round 3.

Thus the pairings for Women's World Chess Championship 2015 are:

Koneru Humpy (2581 India) – Alisa Galliamova (2484 Russia) 
After playing two low seed players in each round Koneru will met her first experience strong opponent. Alisa Galliamova is in good form, defeating Christiana Lujan and Tatiana Kosintseva. In both encounter record, Koneru beat Alisa twice.

Marie Sebag (2482 France) – Natalia Pogonina (2456 Russia)
Natalia eliminated Ju Wenjun who is the second strongest player in the field. While Marie Sebag kind of get lottery when Anna Ushenina give away the first tie break game without fight. In their previous record, Marie Sebag is winning against Natalia.

Anna Muzychuk (2552 Ukraine) – Lela Javakhishvili (2481 Georgia)
looks like they haven't played each other before, but the sister, Mariya got outplayed many times. perhaps Mariya should share some knowledge to Anna.

Meri Arabidze (2374 Georgia) – Viktorija Cmilyte (2530 Lithuania)
no record found between the two. Viktorija is on the upper hand based on rating and experiences.

Alexandra Kosteniuk (2529 Russia) – Harika Dronavalli (2492 India)
They played many times with Kosteniuk still holding the winning side. Pretty interesting fight here. Both in good form.

Pia Cramling (2495 Sweden) – Valentina Gunina (2528 Russia)
Pia get a nasty bad record against the young Valentina. Four defeated and one draw only, on their encounter. Valentina surely on favorite side. Valentina is one of four Russian girls that still around in round 3.

Zhao Xue (2527 China) – Bela Khotenashvili (2513 Georgia)
Seven games in and the score is equal. Zhao Xue is the only remained China player in round 3. She should get help from her many colleagues (if they still in Sochi). On other hand, Bela is one of three Georgian player that still around.

Antoneata Stefanova (2522 Bulgaria) – Mariya Muzychuk (2526 Ukraine)
They played many times and the score seems equal. Antoneata is one the experience side even though both are pretty equal in rating wise also.

Official website is here with lots of photos. There is also lots of player interviews and many good reading on the official website. This is good when mainstream chess media (chessbase,, etc.) all seemingly too late in reporting, some up to more than 2x24 late.

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