Friday, November 23, 2012

2012 FIDE Women's World Chess Championship

It is SEMI FINALS time, and the action is fast and furious.  Without further ado, here are the results, darlings:

Round 5 Match 01
Stefanova, Antoaneta (BUL)1 1
Harika, Dronavalli (IND)00

Round 5 Match 02
Ushenina, Anna (UKR)½0.5
Ju, Wenjun (CHN)½0.5

Can Stefanova win the title again?  The 33 year old was crowned the Women's Champion in 2004 and held the title until 2006.  At that time, I considered her in her peak form.  Her performances since then have been, for the most part, steady but not spectacular; however, her peak ELO rating of 2560 was achieved in May, 2010 so --. She is one of the pros who makes a living playing the circuit in Europe as well as in the European, EU and various women's and team championships, sometimes performing well enough to finish in the money.  She has made some Grand Prix appearances and also regularly plays on teams (such as the .  Stefanova is currently ranked 19th on the Top 100 Women list, with an ELO of 2491, certainly respectable in terms of her peers.  But, check this out:

2Koneru, HumpygIND261071987
3Hou, YifangCHN260661994
4Muzychuk, AnnagSLO258661990
5Zhao, XuegCHN256541985
6Dzagnidze, NanagGEO255501987
7Lahno, KaterynagUKR2553151989
8Kosintseva, NadezhdagRUS253901985
9Cmilyte, ViktorijagLTU252461983
10Sebag, MariegFRA252101986
11Gunina, ValentinamRUS2517101989
12Cramling, PiagSWE251661963
13Kosintseva, TatianagRUS251501986
14Harika, DronavalligIND251271991
15Khotenashvili, BelamGEO250401988
16Kosteniuk, AlexandragRUS250161984
17Ju, WenjunwgCHN250141991
18Ruan, LufeiwgCHN250101987
19Stefanova, AntoanetagBUL249151979

Nearly all of the players ranked above Stefanova on the Top 100 Women list were also playing in the FIDE 2012 WWCC - and all have been eliminated except for Harika Dronavalli (14th) and Ju Wenjun (17th)! Anna Ushenina is ranked 38th with an ELO of 2452!  I'm pretty sure that no one expected Stefanova, or the other semi-finalists for that matter, to have come this far, including me!  So, YOU GO, GIRLS! 

Obviously, Harika Dronavalli has her back against the chessly wall, and MUST win tomorrow in order to force a play-off.  Holy Hathor!  I'm not even going to venture an opinion here, I've been so wrong about SO many things in the course of this Championship, LOL!  So, I'm just gonna sit back and enjoy, darlings, and watch in amazement at whatever happens.

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