Thursday, April 9, 2015

2015 FIDE Women's World Chess Championship

Hola darlings!

I missed it all - and didn't miss it at all, to tell you the truth.  I think the knock-out format is a joke and is not a true measure of the relative skills of the players.  Oh well.

The event was held in Sochi; I hope the Russian army was not out killing stray dogs like they did before the Olympics.  Official website has photos galore and daily reports/interviews, along with round by round results, video, and the games.

U.S. players were Tatev Abrahamyan and Irina Krush; Tatev got knocked out in the first round by India's Dronavalli Harika and Krush got knocked out in the second found, also by Harika.  Harika rendered an excellent performance, making it all the way to the semi-finals before being knocked out by Mariya Muzychuk; likewise, veteran player Pia Cramling (one of the first female players to earn a GM title in the 1980s in the traditional way) made it to the semi-finals and lost to Natalia Pogonina.  The semi-finals devolved into tense tie-break battles to determine who advanced:

Semifinal pairings / results

Muzychuk, MariyaUKR2526½½10½13.5
Harika, DronavalliIND2492½½01½02.5
Cramling, PiaSWE249510½01.5
Pogonina, NataliaRUS245601½12.5

Pogonina went to the final round and lost to Muzychuk, who is now the 15th FIDE Women's World Chess Champion.

Final rairings / results

Pogonina, NataliaRUS2456½0½½     1.5
Muzychuk, MariyaUKR2526½1½½     2.5

Congratulations to GM Mariya Muzychuk.

From the FIDE website, here is the prize structure:

3. 9. Prizes for the Women’s World Championship 
3. 9. 1. Prize list
1st round 32 losers x 3.750 = 120.000
2nd round 16 losers x 5.500 = 88.000
3rd round 8 losers x 8.000 = 64.000
4th round 4 losers x 12.000 = 48.000
5th round 2 losers x 20.000 = 40.000
6th round 1 loser x 30.000 = 30.000
Women’s World Champion = 60.000
TOTAL: 450.000 USD

Evidently the knock-out championship was planned to be held in 2014, with a Women's World Championship "match" to be held this year in October.  Oops!

According to the FIDE website, bidding on the Women's World Championship "match" is open until April 20, 2015, with a minimum prize fund of $200,000 and various bribes administrative fees to FIDE, etc.  Well, who knows, somebody could bid on it and it could actually happen, and then Mariya Muzychuk would have to defend her title six months after winning it!

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