Saturday, December 18, 2010

2010 Women's World Chess Championship - R5 Play-offs

From official website:

The second semi-final match was decided on tie-break today. Ruan Lufei joined Hou Yifan, who has promoted from the classical games, in the final. The first rapid game was drawn again but in the second one Ruan Lufei, playing with black pieces, defeated her compatriot Zhao Xue. "The result that I have now is just unbelievable! I had a back ticket on December, 13 because I thought I would be eliminated by Kosteniuk and go home”, said the second winner of the semi-final match. She also explained that she was not afraid to play tie-breaks, but it was not a strategy or intention to make draws in the main games on purpose.

After the rest day on 19 th of December the finalists Hou Yifan and Ruan Lufei will play four classical games from 20th till 23rd of December.

News coverage on the WWCC:

From The Times of India
Humpy leaves, paving way for a Chinese queen
Hari Hara Nandanan, TNN, Dec 19, 2010, 01.03am IST

CHENNAI: There will be a Chinese queen in the women's World Chess Championship at Hatay. As Indian Grandmaster Koneru Humpy left the stage in the semi, losing to 16-year-old Hou Yifan 0.5-1.5, the final will now be a Chinese affair.

Yifan, who is a step away from creating a record for becoming the youngest women's (or open) world champion, will meet either Zhao Xue or Lufei Ruan, in the four-game final from Monday.

For Humpy, it was a second successive defeat in the semifinals of the World Championship and what must hurt her is the fact that both of them were inflicted by Yifan. Humpy has a good record against all the women GMs but against Yifan, she seems to have problems.

From the Hindustan
Humpy out of World Championship
Press Trust Of India
Hatay, Turkey, December 18, 2010

Koneru Humpy crashed out of the World Women's chess championship after drawing the second game of the semifinal match against nemesis Yifan Hao of China. Having lost the first game of the semis, Humpy needed a victory in the return game to stay afloat in the championship but, missing out on her chances, the Indian could only manage a draw translating in to a 0.5-1.5 defeat for her.

In the last World Championship at Nalchik in Russia too, Humpy had suffered a similar defeat in the semis at the hands of the same opponent.

The ouster of Humpy means end of the road for the Indians in the Championship and it will now be an all Chinese affair for the first time in the history of World Championships.

The other semifinal between Chinese duo of Zhao Xue and Ruan Lufei, meanwhile, was stretched to the tiebreaker following another quick draw between the two.

Humpy had troubles negotiating the first phase of the match against Yifan who certainly appeared to be better prepared than Humpy. It was Berling defense by Humpy that cost her the full point in the first game and in the second, it was a Sicilian through transposition that the Indian has not quite been facing lately.

Yifan had to pause for quite sometime when Humpy went for the Torre attack with white pieces after opening with the queen pawn and in fact it worked out fine when the Chinese was able to transpose to a Sicilian defense in a few moves time. The set up chosen by Humpy was a mixture of Najdorf and Classical variation and Yifan felt the heat after she decided to part with a couple of pawns to initiate an attack against the king.

Humpy, and the chess pundits, believed that she had real chances with her extra material but as things unfolded, Yifan was able to muster just the right kind of counter-play to liquidate to a rook and pawns endgame where only white could be worse. Humpy made the right decision to take the draw in 45 moves.

Full article.

U.S. Chess Federation Website
All-Chinese Final at the Women's World Championships
December 17, 2010
(Includes Game 1 that can be played through)

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