Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Women's World Championship Sochi 2015 Quarter Final Pairings

Eight players will continue their fight for Women's World Chess Championship in Sochi 2015. They are the ones that survive the drama of round 3, which some stories can be told here.

The most dramatic are, in round 3 all four remaining Russian girls are losing their first game. Kosteniuk misplayed a long battle of French defence game against Harika Dronavalli, get trouble with passed pawn then lost. Alexandra "Sasha" Kosteniuk then fight back in epic style on game 2, she won and happily continued to tie break session. In both rapid tie break games, Kosteniuk actually in control, but strange things happen in rapid one when Kosteniuk carelessly choose 35..Ra3? which allow Harika to win a pawn and win the game.

in almost equal position, Alexandra played 35..Ra3?, losing the A pawn due to 36.Ra5!

Harika Dronavalli vs Alexandra Kosteniuk 1-0, WCC Sochi 2015 Round 3.3 (Rapid)

In rapid 2, Kosteniuk played in must win situation, creating complication and ended up in a pawn plus against Harika. Nevertheless, the extra pawn also create the famous Phillidor rook endgame situation. Harika hold it and go through the next quarterfinal round.

61.Ke5 will be winning, but Sasha choose 61.Re6+ , the game continue with Phillidor rook endgame type position and draw

Alexandra Kosteniuk vs Harika Dronavalli 1/2-1/2, WCC Sochi 2015 Round 3.4 (Rapid)

On the second came back is Natalia Pogonina. She lost the first game on round 3 against Marie Sebag. But her story was more happier than Sasha. Natalia manage to equalized and in the tie break completely overplayed Marie Sebag.

Two other Russian girls didn't survive. Alisa Galliamova must be the sacrificial lamb for the sake of seeing Koneru Humpy get her 6-0 score in the tournament. In another happy mother's day story, Pia Cramling wrapped the young Valentina Gunina and Pia advance to quarterfinals. Meri Arabidze is the last Georgian in the field, Meri overcome Viktorija Cmilyte in tie break and advance. Both Muzychuk sisters also survived. And the last one is Zhao Xue, who defeated Bela Kotenashvili and advance.

photo from Official website

Women's World Championship Sochi 2015 Quarter Final Pairings

Koneru Humpy (2581 India) vs Mariya Muzychuk (2526 Ukraine)
The score is not good for Mariya as their encounter always largely a win for Koneru. On the other hand, Koneru Humpy is on the way "can you do Caruana?"path with 6-0 score. As for Mariya, she got a bumpy tournament, notably when lost to Yuan Yuanling in very first game. Mariya's last championship only advance to 3rd round, so this is her best result so far. Can Mariya stopped Koneru, or at least stop the winning streak? In fact, this is the strongest pairing with both player in 2500 rating strength.

Harika Dronavalli (2492 India) vs Meri Arabidze (2374 Georgia)
The same question to Meri Arabidze, can she also stop Harika, who doing extremely good combined with enough luck spell. Harika so far defeated Tatev Abrahamyan, Irina Krush and Alexandra Kosteniuk. One more fact that hardly everyone remember, Harika is always in the quarterfinals since the last two championships. In 2010 she lost to Ruan Lufei in quarter, in 2012 she lost to Antoaneta Stefanova in semifinal! On the other side, Meri Arabidze also having her first and superb tournament, she eliminated Elizabeth Paehtz, Yaniet Morrero Lopez and Viktorija Cmilyte. It's look like this is their only first serious encounter. Meri admit she likes rapid games to classical, so expect to see the round prolonged to tie breaks. Rating wise, this is quite one sided pairing.

Natalia Pogonina (2456 Russia) vs Zhao Xue (2527 China)
Seems like both have playing each other for long time. Zhao Xue got a slightly better score on the database. Natalia comeback from her lost against Marie Sebag while Zhao Xue quite smooth in her path. If you remember well, Zhao Xue is one of female chess player that been in top 10-20 for so long. A big fight to decide whether the Russian or the Chinese that worth for a semifinal slot.

Anna Muzychuk (2552 Ukraine) vs Pia Cramling (2495 Sweden)
They have many games played between the two. The stronger Anna got a slightly better score. The third seed on the tournament against the most senior remaining participant, Pia out-senior Anna by 26 years. How can you stop somebody who has more than 40 years of chess experiences?


1 comment:

  1. In 2nd game against Dronavalli, Kosteniuk went wrong at move 61. It's hard to predict if a 16 move computer recommendation is forced, but at the end of that variation by Chessbomb's computer, the position is a tablebase win. Had she been on top of her R+P endings, she would have won the tiebreak 1.5-0.5.


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