Women's World Chess Championship 2008

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The Women's World Chess Championship 2008 took place from August 28, 2008 to September 18 in Nalchik, Russia. It was won by Alexandra Kosteniuk, who beat Hou Yifan in the final by 2½ to 1½.

For the fifth time, the championship took the form of a 64-player knock-out tournament.

Participants[edit]

Players were seeded by their Elo ratings (July 2008 list),[1] except that defending champion Xu Yuhua was the no. 1 seed.

  1.  Xu Yuhua (CHN), 2483, GM
  2.  Humpy Koneru (IND), 2622, GM
  3.  Hou Yifan (CHN), 2557, WGM
  4.  Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL), 2550, GM
  5.  Pia Cramling (SWE), 2544, GM
  6.  Marie Sebag (FRA), 2529, GM
  7.  Zhao Xue (CHN), 2522, GM
  8.  Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS), 2511, IM
  9.  Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS), 2510, GM
  10.  Viktorija Čmilytė (LTU), 2508, IM
  11.  Anna Muzychuk (SLO), 2504, IM
  12.  Ruan Lufei (CHN), 2499, WGM
  13.  Natalia Zhukova (UKR), 2489, WGM
  14.  Maia Chiburdanidze (GEO), 2489, GM
  15.  Hoang Thanh Trang (HUN), 2487, GM
  16.  Elisabeth Pähtz (GER), 2481, IM
  17.  Anna Ushenina (UKR), 2476, IM
  18.  Monika Soćko (POL), 2473, IM
  19.  Irina Krush (USA), 2470, IM
  20.  Inna Gaponenko (UKR), 2468, IM
  21.  Lela Javakhishvili (GEO), 2461, IM
  22.  Dronavalli Harika (IND), 2461, IM
  23.  Nadezhda Kosintseva (RUS), 2460, IM
  24.  Ekaterina Korbut (RUS), 2459, IM
  25.  Anna Zatonskih (USA), 2446, IM
  26.  Shen Yang (CHN), 2445, WGM
  27.  Lilit Mkrtchian (ARM), 2436, IM
  28.  Tania Sachdev (IND), 2432, IM
  29.  Natasa Bojkovic (SRB), 2423, IM
  30.  Iweta Rajlich (POL), 2417, IM
  31.  Maia Lomineishvili (GEO), 2414, IM
  32.  Nino Khurtsidze (GEO), 2413, IM
  33.  Svetlana Matveeva (RUS), 2412, IM
  34.  Sopiko Khukhashvili (GEO), 2408, IM
  35.  Batkhuyag Munguntuul (MGL), 2406, WGM
  36.  Ju Wenjun (CHN), 2389
  37.  Tan Zhongyi (CHN), 2387
  38.  Eva Moser (AUT), 2383, IM
  39.  Ketino Kachiani-Gersinska (GER), 2374, IM
  40.  Tea Bosboom-Lanchava (NED), 2358, IM
  41.  Sopio Gvetadze (GEO), 2355, IM
  42.  Nisha Mohota (IND), 2354, WGM
  43.  Vera Nebolsina (RUS), 2350, WGM
  44.  Claudia Amura (ARG), 2345, WGM
  45.  Zhang Jilin (CHN), 2344, WGM
  46.  Elena Sedina (ITA), 2344, IM
  47.  Sabina-Francesca Foisor (ROM), 2337, WGM
  48.  Le Thanh Tu (VIE), 2325, WGM
  49.  Ilaha Kadimova (AZE), 2324, WGM
  50.  Maritza Arribas Robaina (CUB), 2323, WGM
  51.  Nguyen Thi Thanh An (VIE), 2323, WGM
  52.  Katherine Rohonyan (USA), 2321, WGM
  53.  Irina Zakurdjaeva (RUS), 2308, WGM
  54.  Maria Velcheva (BUL), 2281, WGM
  55.  Valentina Golubenko (CRO), 2271, WGM
  56.  Atousa Pourkashiyan (IRI), 2269, WIM
  57.  Nafisa Muminova (UZB), 2242
  58.  Marisa Zuriel (ARG), 2231, WIM
  59.  Anna Gasik (POL), 2211, WFM
  60.  Sarai Sanchez Castillo (VEN), 2202, WGM
  61.  Karen Zapata (PER), 2180, WIM
  62.  Mona Khaled (EGY), 2007, WGM
  63.  Yorsa Alaa El Din (EGY), 1959, WIM
  64.  Anzel Solomons (RSA), 1895, WIM

Absentees[edit]

The world's no. 1 female player (and 22nd overall), Judit Polgár, has never competed for the Women's World Championship and did not play this time either. World no. 3 and ex-champion, Xie Jun, had played little chess in recent years (four rated games since 2005)[2] and also did not appear. Other absentees from the top 20 were Kateryna Lahno (ranked 12th), ex-champion Zhu Chen (15th) and Elina Danielian (16 th).

Some players refused to go to Nalchik. In their letters to FIDE, Canadian Natalia Khoudgarian[3] and American Irina Krush[4] both cited the general safety in the region of North Caucasus.

More players protested after the start of the 2008 South Ossetia war. On 12 August 2008, six Georgian players published an open letter asking to move the Championship to a safer place, which was endorsed by several other players (Monika Soćko, Irina Krush, Iweta Rajlich, Ketino Kachiani-Gersinska, Tea Bosboom-Lanchava, Claudia Amura, and Marie Sebag).[4][5] On 15 August, the Chess Federation of Georgia published an open letter stating that the Georgian players will not participate in the Championship unless it is moved to another country.[4] Argentinian Claudia Amura, whose opponent in the first round is Georgian Lela Javakhishvili, also published a letter to FIDE asking for the Championship to be moved.[3]

The FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov published two letters in reply, on 13 August[3] and 19 August.[6] In his letters, he confirmed that the Championship would be held in Nalchik, appealed to everyone not to mix politics and sport, and stated that the organizers provided all the necessary security. This was seconded by Boris Kutin, president of the European Chess Union,[3] and Arsen Kanokov, president of Kabardino-Balkaria and the chairman of the organizing committee.[4] On 21 August, Ilyumzhinov published a letter to Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili asking him to let Georgian players participate.[7]

A total of 11 players did not arrive at the Championship. Besides the six Georgian players (Maia Chiburdanidze, Lela Javakhishvili, Maia Lomineishvili, Nino Khurtsidze, Sopiko Khukhashvili, and Sopio Gvetadze), these were Marie Sebag (France), Irina Krush (United States), Ekaterina Korbut (Russia), Tea Bosboom-Lanchava (Netherlands), and Karen Zapata (Peru).[8]

Tournament Format[edit]

The Championship was conducted as a single-elimination tournament with 64 players and six rounds. In each encounter, players played two games at normal time controls (90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move one). If the score after two games was level, the tie-break was played. In the tie-break, two rapid games were played (25 minutes for the game, with addition of 10 seconds after each move). If the score was level after the rapid games, two blitz games were played (5 minutes for the game, with addition of 10 seconds after each move). If the score was level after the blitz, the decisive armageddon game was played. The time control was 6 minutes for White and 5 minutes for Black, with no addition. If the game was drawn, Black is declared the winner. The colours in the armageddon games were chosen by the player who won the drawing of lots.

In the final, four regular games were played instead of two, and the first (rapid) phase of tie-break would also have consisted of four games.[9]

Ruling appeal[edit]

The final tiebreak game in the first round match between Monika Soćko and Sabina-Francesca Foisor ended in controversy. It was an armageddon blitz game in which Socko (as White) had 6 minutes compared to 5 minutes Foisor (as Black), but White must win the game to advance to the next round whereas Black only needed to draw (or win). With time running out, a position was reached in which each player had only a king and a knight, a material combination which is a draw under normal circumstances. Just after this, Foisor's time ran out and the arbiter Zsuzsanna Veroci ruled it a draw, meaning that Foisor would advance. Socko immediately protested, showing a position where checkmate is possible (but cannot be forced) and reminding the arbiters of the FIDE rules of chess which state that if one player runs out of time and the opponent has the possibility of checkmate, that player loses. Socko filed an appeal, and the Appeals Committee agreed that she was correct on the rules. The game was ruled a win for Socko and she advanced to the next round.[10][11]

Schedule[edit]

  • Round 1: 29 August and 30 August, with tiebreaks on 31 August
  • Round 2: 1 September and 2 September, with tiebreaks on 3 September
  • Round 3: 4 September and 5 September, with tiebreaks on 6 September
  • Quarterfinals: 7 September and 8 September, with tiebreaks on 9 September
  • Semifinals: 10 September and 11 September, with tiebreaks on 12 September
  • Final: 14 September to 17 September, with tiebreaks on 18 September

Results[edit]

Final Match[edit]

Women's World Chess Championship Final 2008
1 2 3 4 Total
 Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) 1 ½ ½ ½
 Hou Yifan (China) 0 ½ ½ ½

Bracket[edit]

1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
                                   
1 Xu Yuhua
64 Anzel Solomons ½
1 Xu Yuhua ½
33 Svetlana Matveeva
33 Nino Khurtsidze
32 Svetlana Matveeva w/o
33 Svetlana Matveeva 0
17 Anna Ushenina 2
17 Elisabeth Pähtz 4
48 Ilaha Kadimova 3
16 Elisabeth Pähtz ½
17 Anna Ushenina
49 Anna Ushenina
16 Le Thanh Tu ½
17 Ukraine Anna Ushenina ½
9 Russia Alexandra Kosteniuk
9 Tatiana Kosintseva 2
56 Nafisa Muminova 0
8 Tatiana Kosintseva
25 Anna Zatonskih ½
41 Anna Zatonskih w/o
24 Tea Bosboom-Lanchava
8 Tatiana Kosintseva ½
9 Alexandra Kosteniuk
25 Alexandra Kosteniuk 2
40 Atousa Pourkashiyan 0
9 Alexandra Kosteniuk w/o
 
57 Ekaterina Korbut
8 Sopio Gvetadze
9 Russia Alexandra Kosteniuk
5 Sweden Pia Cramling ½
5 Antoaneta Stefanova w/o
60 Karen Zapata
4 Antoaneta Stefanova 3
36 Ju Wenjun 1
37 Natasa Bojkovic
28 Ju Wenjun
4 Antoaneta Stefanova 2
20 Inna Gaponenko 0
21 Natalia Zhukova
44 Katherine Rohonyan
52 Katherine Rohonyan
20 Inna Gaponenko
53 Inna Gaponenko
12 Zhang Jilin ½
4 Bulgaria Antoaneta Stefanova ½
5 Sweden Pia Cramling
13 Pia Cramling
52 Sarai Sanchez Castillo ½
5 Pia Cramling
37 Tan Zhongyi ½
45 Tania Sachdev ½
20 Tan Zhongyi
5 Pia Cramling
12 Ruan Lufei ½
29 Ruan Lufei
36 Irina Zakurdjaeva ½
12 Ruan Lufei
44 Claudia Amura ½
61 Lela Javakhishvili
4 Claudia Amura w/o
9 Russia Alexandra Kosteniuk
3 China Hou Yifan
3 Hou Yifan 2
62 Mona Khaled 0
3 Hou Yifan 2
35 Batkhuyag Munguntuul 0
35 Iweta Rajlich 0
30 Batkhuyag Munguntuul 2
3 Hou Yifan 3
46 Elena Sedina 1
19 Irina Krush
46 Elena Sedina w/o
46 Elena Sedina 3
51 Nguyen Thi Thanh An 1
51 Maia Chiburdanidze
14 Nguyen Thi Thanh An w/o
3 China Hou Yifan
27 Armenia Lilit Mkrtchian ½
11 Marie Sebag
54 Anna Gasik w/o
59 Anna Gasik ½
27 Lilit Mkrtchian
43 Lilit Mkrtchian
22 Eva Moser
27 Lilit Mkrtchian
22 Dronavalli Harika ½
27 Dronavalli Harika 2
38 Vera Nebolsina 0
22 Dronavalli Harika
11 Anna Muzychuk
59 Maria Velcheva 0
6 Anna Muzychuk 2
3 China Hou Yifan 4
2 India Humpy Koneru 2
7 Zhao Xue 2
58 Marisa Zuriel 0
7 Zhao Xue ½
26 Shen Yang
39 Shen Yang
26 Ketino Kachiani-Gersinska ½
26 Shen Yang
23 Nadezhda Kosintseva
23 Nisha Mohota 0
42 Nadezhda Kosintseva 2
23 Nadezhda Kosintseva
10 Viktorija Čmilytė
55 Valentina Golubenko ½
10 Viktorija Čmilytė
26 China Shen Yang 0
2 India Humpy Koneru 2
15 Hoang Thanh Trang
50 Maritza Arribas Robaina ½
15 Hoang Thanh Trang
18 Monika Soćko ½
47 Sabina-Francesca Foisor 3
18 Monika Soćko 4
15 Hoang Thanh Trang ½
2 Humpy Koneru
31 Maia Lomineishvili
34 Sopiko Khukhashvili
 
2 Humpy Koneru w/o
63 Yorsa Alaa El Din 0
2 Humpy Koneru 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://ratings.fide.com/toparc.phtml?cod=130
  2. ^ "Individual Calculations for Xie Jun". FIDE. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Ilyumzhinov: Do not mix politics and sport". Chessbase. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Women's World Championship: Georgian players withdraw". Chessbase. 17 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  5. ^ "Appeal to FIDE: move the Women's World Championship". Chessbase. 12 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  6. ^ "Ilyumzhinov reiterates: we should not mix sport and politics". Chessbase. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  7. ^ "Ilyumzhinov to Saakashvili: let your players participate". Chessbase. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  8. ^ "World Women Chess Championship LIVE!". Chessdom. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  9. ^ "Regulations for the Women's World Chess Championship Cycle". Official website of the Championship. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  10. ^ "Drama at World Women Chess Championship round 1 tiebreaks". Chessdom. 31 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  11. ^ "Appeal's Committee Ruling". Official website of the Championship. 31 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 

External links[edit]