Saturday, September 6, 2008

2008 Women's World Chess Championship

Round 3 play-offs from 13:10 CET Welcome to the live coverage of the World Women Chess Championship on! Elena Sedina of Italy shocked the Chinese prodigy Yifan Hou in the yesterday's game to even up the score and proceed to tiebreaks. Today, in the rapid game one, Sedina attempted to use the poisonous Qxd4 again, but Yifan avoided the pin with an early a6. 13:20 CET Meanwhile, Shen Yang and Nadezda Kosintseva are testing the Nimzo-Indian once again, only this time Kosintseva deviated from the earlier game and played the "mainstream" 6...b6. Sister Tatiana, who was eliminated by Alexandra Kosteniuk, is in the playing hall to give moral support to Nadezda. 14:00 CET Yifan Hou wins the first rapid game with Black pieces! The devastating 36...Rb1! proved that Black was faster in the mutual pawn race. The second game will start 10 minutes after Shen-Kosintseva finishes. 14:10 CET The dominating Black Knight on f4 must have caused a strong headache to Shen Yang. She couldn't solve all the problems and Nadezda Kosintseva wins the first game with a checkmate on g5. Stay tuned for the 2nd rapid tiebreak! 14:35 CET The second tiebreak game is ongoing. In spite of the lead, Yifan Hou goes sharp against Sedina's French defence, using the once-favorite line of Alekhine and Fischer. 14:40 CET Nadezda Kosintseva is taking a cautious route with Ruy Lopez Exchange variation. Still, we have to remember that Antoaneta Stefanova won the other day with Black in this same Qf6 line. 15:30 CET Shen Yang strikes back! The two will now proceed with blitz games. Ruy Lopez Exchange didn't score well for White thus far. 15:35 CET Yifan Hou wins the second rapid game as well and qualifies for the Quarterfinals. 15:55 CET Severe time trouble in the first blitz game between Yang and Kosintseva! Both players are down to 30 seconds (there is increment). Kosintseva played the beautiful 35...Ne4!!, with idea 36. fxe4 Rd2 (and White's own e4 pawn covers Bc2 diagonal), but the problem was that Yang is not forced to take. 16:05 CET Excellent endgame technique by Shen Yang, who is now leading 1-0. Kosintseva has to win the next game in order to reach the Armageddon. 16:50 CET After the long struggle, the second blitz game ended in a draw and Shen Yang advances to the next round! Both Chinese players have survived the tiebreaks. Results: Elena Sedina - Yifan Hou 0-1, 0-1 Shen Yang - Nadezda Kosintseva 0-1, 1-0, 1-0, draw Quarterfinal pairings: Anna Ushenina - Alexandra Kosteniuk Humpy Koneru - Shen Yang Yifan Hou - Lilit Mkrtchian Antoaneta Stefanova - Pia Cramling

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