The Women’s World Championship is underway in Khanty-Mansiysk

The second games of the first round were played in Ugra Chess Academy on November 12th. 24 players won their two-game matches. 11 of them won both games: World Champion Hou Yifan (China), Humpy Koneru (India), Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia), Zhao Xue (China), Kateryna Lahno (Ukraine), Nadezhda Kosintseva (Russia), Pia Cramling (Sweden), Valentina Gunina (Russia), Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria), Zhu Chen (Qatar), and Lilit Mkrtchian (Armenia).

The following players advanced to the second round with the score 1,5-0,5: Viktorija Cmilyte (Lithuania), Marie Sebag (France), Tatiana Kosintseva (Russia), Harika Dronavalli (India), Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia), Anna Zatonskih (USA), Olga Girya (Russia), Nino Khurtsidze (Georgia), Huang Qian (China), Anna Ushenina (Ukraine), Natalia Zhukova (Ukraine), Hoang Thanh Trang (Hungary), and Monika Socko (Poland).

Grandmaster Olga Girya, representing Ugra, won today with Black pieces and thus advanced to the second round, where she meets with Marie Sebag from France.

The game between Natalia Zhukova and  Guo Qi was a true masterpiece. The Chinese obtained a pleasant position after the opening and decided to sacrifice an exchange, which led to a highly complicated game with a lot of calculation involved. The Ukrainian had to return extra material and even gave up another piece, however, she secured a very strong passed pawn. The pawn eventually promoted, winning a fine game for Zhukova.

Tomorrow is a rest day for all the players who advanced to the second round. Those participants who tied their matches 1-1 will return tomorrow to play tie-breaks.

Four players who lost their games yesterday managed to equalize the score today:  Maritza Arribas (Cuba), Atousa Pourkashiyan (Iran), Lela Javakhishvili, and Sopiko Khukhashvili (both Georgia).

If the scores are level after the regular games, after a new drawing of colours, two (2) tie break games shall be played. The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes on the clock for each player with an addition of 10 seconds after each move. If the scores are level after the two games, then, after a new drawing of colours, two (2) ten-minute games shall be played with the addition of 10 seconds after each move. If the scores are level after the two games, then, after a new drawing of colours, two (2) five-minute games shall be played with the addition of 3 seconds after each move. If the score is still level, the players shall play one sudden death game. The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. The player with the white pieces shall receive 5 minutes, the player with the black pieces shall receive 4 minutes whereupon, after the 60th move, both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds from move 61. The winner qualifies for the next round. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces qualifies for the next round.

The following players are meeting tomorrow on tie-breaks:  Ju Wenjun (China) – Atousa Pourkashiyan (Iran), Natalia Pogonina – Svetlana Matveeva (both Russia), Cristina-Adela Foisor (Romania) – Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine), Elina Danielian (Armenia) – Sopiko Khukhashvili (Georgia),  Li Ruofan (Singapore) – Irina Krush (USA), Alisa Galliamova – Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (both Russia), and Anastasia Bodnaruk (Russia) – Lela Javakhishvili (Georgia).

The 8th Ugra Governor Cup starts on Wednesday, November 14th. This competition is a part of the Russian Cup series, and its prize fund exceeds $50,000. More than 100 players from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Azerbaijan have already registered for this event, including Anton Korobov (2702), Nikita Vitiugov (2700), Alexey Dreev (2654) and Igor Kurnosov (2645). The World Championship participants who get eliminated in the Round 1 will also be able to join the Governor Cup, which ends on November, 24th.