Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2012 FIDE Women's World Chess Championship

Round 4, Game 2 results:


Round 4 Match 01
Sebag, Marie (FRA)101
Stefanova, Antoaneta (BUL)011

Round 4 Match 02
Ju, Wenjun (CHN)½½1
Huang, Qian (CHN)½½1

Round 4 Match 03
Kosintseva, Nadezhda (RUS)½00.5
Ushenina, Anna (UKR)½11.5

Round 4 Match 04
Zhao, Xue (CHN)½½1
Harika, Dronavalli (IND)½½1

Antoaneta Stefanova
Three of the four pairings going to the play-offs tomorrow, wow!  Ushenina, whose play has been uneven the past few years, knocked out Nadezhda Kosintseva -- so Russia has NO PLAYERS LEFT IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP.  I haven't looked back at the history of the knock-out events, but I'm thinking that's unprecedented at the stage of the quarter-finals. 

With three players still in it, the odds favor a Chinese champion.  But I really have no clue what may happen.  This championship has had totally unexpected results but I am also happy to see the names of players other than the favorites time after time, event after event!  I am a fan of Marie Sebag, who earned her final GM norm a few years ago playing in the European Chess Championship (Open).  Dronavalli is another player I admire because, like Sebag, she also plays in Opens on a frequent basis.  Her chess progress had seemed to stall a bit the last few years, but something sure lit a fire under here, and I'm glad to see her advance this far.  Perhaps that spark will burn even brighter in the coming years.

We'll see.  Tomorrow four players will go home, and only four will remain.  Woo woo!

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