Women's World Chess Championship 2015

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Mariya Muzychuk, winner of the championship.

The Women's World Chess Championship was held from 16 March to 7 April 2015 in Sochi, Russia. It was a 64-player knockout tournament. It was originally scheduled from 11 to 31 October 2014 but problems in finding a sponsor and host city eventually forced international chess organisation FIDE to announce the postponement of the Championship on 24 September 2014,[1] scheduling it for early 2015 in Sochi.[2] The unclear state of the tournament was highly criticised by the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP).[3]

In the final, Ukrainian Mariya Muzychuk, seeded 8th, defeated Russian Natalia Pogonina, seeded 31st. As a result of this victory, Muzychuk was awarded the title of Grandmaster (GM), qualified for the FIDE World Cup 2015, and earned the right to defend her title in a 2016 match against the winner of the Women's FIDE Grand Prix Series 2013-14, Hou Yifan.

Participants[edit]

Natalia Pogonina, finalist of the championship

The players were selected through national chess championships, zonal tournaments and continental chess championships. 51 players from women's continental and zonal qualifiers:[4] Europe 28,[5] Asia 12, Americas 8 and Africa 3.

The qualified players were announced on 22 January 2015, subject to signing the contract.[6]

Notably, women's world number one and defending champion Hou Yifan from China opted not to play, because of a prior commitment to a chess tournament in Hawaii.[7][8] Also absent from the world top-10 were Nana Dzagnidze and Kateryna Lagno (they were replaced by two spots from E13).

The participating players were seeded by their March 2015 FIDE rating (shown after the players below).

Three former world champions were in the field: Alexandra Kosteniuk seeded 5th, Antoaneta Stefanova 9th and Anna Ushenina 15th.

Qualification paths[edit]

Nationalities in the field[edit]

Russia sends the most players with ten, one more than China.

Europe (35) Asia/Oceania (18) Americas (8) Africa (3)
 Armenia (2)  Australia (1)  Argentina (2)  Algeria (1)
 Bulgaria (1)  Bangladesh (1)  Canada (1)  Egypt (2)
 France (2)  China (9)  Cuba (1)
 Georgia (6)  India (3)  Peru (1)
 Germany (1)  Indonesia (1)  United States (3)
 Hungary (1)  Iran (1)
 Lithuania (2)  Kazakhstan (1)
 Poland (1)  Vietnam (1)
 Russia (10)
 Scotland (1)
 Sweden (1)
 Turkey (2)
 Ukraine (5)

Schedule and prize money[edit]

FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (right), awaiting the second round.

Two days per match were followed by possible tie-breaks on the next day if the match was tied. The only rest day was 1 April the day after the semi-finals.

The total prize-money was 450,000 US dollars, the same as in 2010 and 2012.[9]

Round Matches Tie-breaks Prize-money (US$)
First round 17–18 March 19 March 3,750
Second round 20–21 March 22 March 5,500
Third round 23–24 March 25 March 8,000
Quarter-finals 26–27 March 28 March 12,000
Semi-finals 29–30 March 31 March 20,000
Final 2–5 April 6 April loser 30,000
winner 60,000

Results[edit]

Final match[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
g8 black king
c7 black pawn
e7 white rook
f7 black pawn
g7 black queen
c6 white pawn
d6 black pawn
d5 white bishop
g5 black knight
g4 white pawn
b3 white pawn
e3 white queen
g3 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after move 40[10]

The final was the only match of the tournament which consisted of four classical games (from 2 to 5 April 2015), played on consecutive days with a rest-day between the semi-final tie-breaks and match 1. Eventual tie-breaks were played on 6 April 2015, in the same manner as the whole tournament. Two rapid games (25+10), i.e. 25 minutes for the whole game plus 10 seconds increment, the two rapid games (10+10), two blitz games (5+3) and an armageddon decider. In the final game White pieces belonged to Muzychuk, who opened the game with her favorite 1.е4.[11] Pogonina responded with her favorite 1…е5.[11] In the Scotch Four Knights Game she tried to avoid the main variations by putting the bishop to b4 via c5.[11] The idea allowed Black to duck the home preparation of Muzychuk.[11] White, however, achieved a spatial advantage and overall more favorable game after the opening.[11] Later White decided to advance kingside pawns, weakening own king.[11] The Black also had pawn weaknesses and a sharp and dynamically balanced position emerged. On the move 41 Muzychuk carried out a simplifying combination, transposing to an endgame with two strong passed pawns against a knight.[11] Pogonina was left with no winning chances, and the game ended in a draw on the move 56 after the move repetition.[11]

Women's World Chess Championship Final 2015
Rating 1 2 3 4 Total
 Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine) 2526 ½ 1 ½ ½
 Natalia Pogonina (Russia) 2456 ½ 0 ½ ½

Pogonina had the white pieces in the first game. Before the final they had met only once, in the 2007 European Individual Championships, which ended in a draw.[12]

Bracket[edit]

Players were seeded by their March rating. The standard bracket is used, i.e. seed #1 plays #64, #2 plays #63 and so on. The draw of who plays white first is done at the opening ceremony. Pairings published on 3 March.[13]

 
Round of 64 Round of 32 Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
 
                                           
 
 
 
 
India Humpy Koneru (1) 2
 
 
 
Egypt Ayah Moaataz (64) 0
 
India Humpy Koneru (1) 2
 
 
 
China Lei Tingjie (32) 0
 
China Lei Tingjie (32) 2
 
 
 
Peru Deysi Cori (33) 0
 
India Humpy Koneru (1) 2
 
 
 
Russia Alisa Galliamova (16) 0
 
Russia Alisa Galliamova (16)
 
 
 
Argentina Carolina Luján (49)
 
Russia Alisa Galliamova (16)
 
 
 
Russia Tatiana Kosintseva (17) 0½
 
Russia Tatiana Kosintseva (17) 5
 
 
 
India Mary Ann Gomes (48) 4
 
India Humpy Koneru (1)
 
 
 
Ukraine Mariya Muzychuk (8)
 
Ukraine Mariya Muzychuk (8)
 
 
 
Canada Yuanling Yuan (56)
 
Ukraine Mariya Muzychuk (8) 3
 
 
 
Poland Monika Socko (25) 1
 
Poland Monika Socko (25) 4
 
 
 
Lithuania Deimante Daulyte (40) 2
 
Ukraine Mariya Muzychuk (8)
 
 
 
Bulgaria Antoaneta Stefanova (9) 0½
 
Bulgaria Antoaneta Stefanova (9)
 
 
 
Vietnam Nguyen Thi Thanh An (57) 0½
 
Bulgaria Antoaneta Stefanova (9)
 
 
 
Ukraine Inna Gaponenko (41)
 
Ukraine Natalia Zhukova (24) 0½
 
 
 
Ukraine Inna Gaponenko (41)
 
Ukraine Mariya Muzychuk (8)
 
 
 
India Dronavalli Harika (12)
 
Lithuania Viktorija Cmilyte (4) 2
 
 
 
Bangladesh Akter Liza Shamima (61) 0
 
Lithuania Viktorija Cmilyte (4)
 
 
 
Russia Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (36) 0½
 
Georgia (country) Nino Khurtsidze (29) 0½
 
 
 
Russia Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (36)
 
Lithuania Viktorija Cmilyte (4)
 
 
 
Georgia (country) Meri Arabidze (45)
 
Armenia Elina Danielian (13) 0½
 
 
 
Cuba Yaniet Marrero Lopez (52)
 
Cuba Yaniet Marrero Lopez (52) 0½
 
 
 
Georgia (country) Meri Arabidze (45)
 
Germany Elisabeth Paehtz (20) 2
 
 
 
Georgia (country) Meri Arabidze (45) 4
 
Georgia (country) Meri Arabidze (45) 0½
 
 
 
India Dronavalli Harika (12)
 
Russia Alexandra Kosteniuk (5) 2
 
 
 
Australia Irina Berezina (60) 0
 
Russia Alexandra Kosteniuk (5)
 
 
 
China Shen Yang (28) 0½
 
China Shen Yang (28)
 
 
 
Russia Alina Kashlinskaya (37)
 
Russia Alexandra Kosteniuk (5)
 
 
 
India Dronavalli Harika (12)
 
India Dronavalli Harika (12) 2
 
 
 
United States Tatev Abrahamyan (53) 0
 
India Dronavalli Harika (12)
 
 
 
United States Irina Krush (21)
 
United States Irina Krush (21)
 
 
 
France Sophie Milliet (44) 0½
 
Ukraine Mariya Muzychuk (8)
 
 
 
Russia Natalia Pogonina (31) 0
 
China Ju Wenjun (2) 2
 
 
 
Egypt Shrook Wafa (63) 0
 
China Ju Wenjun (2) 0½
 
 
 
Russia Natalia Pogonina (31)
 
Russia Natalia Pogonina (31)
 
 
 
China Guo Qi (34) 0½
 
Russia Natalia Pogonina (31) 3
 
 
 
France Marie Sebag (18) 1
 
Ukraine Anna Ushenina (15)
 
 
 
China Zhang Xiaowen (50) 0½
 
Ukraine Anna Ushenina (15)
 
 
 
France Marie Sebag (18)
 
France Marie Sebag (18)
 
 
 
China Wang Jue (47) 0½
 
Russia Natalia Pogonina (31)
 
 
 
China Zhao Xue (7)
 
China Zhao Xue (7) 3
 
 
 
Argentina Marisa Zuriel (58) 1
 
China Zhao Xue (7)
 
 
 
Georgia (country) Salome Melia (26) 0½
 
Georgia (country) Salome Melia (26) 3
 
 
 
Indonesia Irine Kharisma Sukandar (39) 1
 
China Zhao Xue (7)
 
 
 
Georgia (country) Bela Khotenashvili (10) 0½
 
Georgia (country) Bela Khotenashvili (10)
 
 
 
Turkey Kübra Öztürk (55) 0½
 
Georgia (country) Bela Khotenashvili (10)
 
 
 
China Huang Qian (23)
 
China Huang Qian (23)
 
 
 
Russia Baira Kovanova (42)
 
Russia Natalia Pogonina (31)
 
 
 
Sweden Pia Cramling (11)
 
Ukraine Anna Muzychuk (3)
 
 
 
Algeria Amina Mezioud (62) 0½
 
Ukraine Anna Muzychuk (3)
 
 
 
Russia Aleksandra Goryachkina (30) 0½
 
Russia Aleksandra Goryachkina (30) 5
 
 
 
Armenia Lilit Mkrtchian (35) 4
 
Ukraine Anna Muzychuk (3)
 
 
 
Georgia (country)Lela Javakhishvili (19) 0½
 
China Tan Zhongyi (14)
 
 
 
Kazakhstan Guliskhan Nakhbayeva (51) 0½
 
China Tan Zhongyi (14) 0½
 
 
 
Georgia (country)Lela Javakhishvili (19)
 
Georgia (country) Lela Javakhishvili (19)
 
 
 
Georgia (country) Sopiko Guramishvili (46)
 
Ukraine Anna Muzychuk (3)
 
 
 
Sweden Pia Cramling (11)
 
Russia Valentina Gunina (6) 2
 
 
 
United States Camilla Baginskaite (59) 0
 
Russia Valentina Gunina (6) 2
 
 
 
Russia Olga Girya (27) 0
 
Russia Olga Girya (27) 2
 
 
 
Turkey Ekaterina Atalik (38) 0
 
Russia Valentina Gunina (6) 0½
 
 
 
Sweden Pia Cramling (11)
 
Sweden Pia Cramling (11) 2
 
 
 
Iran Mitra Hejazipour (54) 0
 
Sweden Pia Cramling (11)
 
 
 
Scotland Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (43) 0½
 
Hungary Hoang Thanh Trang (22) 0½
 
 
Scotland Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (43)
 

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Women's World Championship 2014". FIDE. 2014-09-24. Retrieved 2015-04-06. 
  2. ^ "Women's World Championship to Take Place in Sochi". chess-news.ru. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Open Letter to FIDE President Mr.Kirsan Ilyumzhinov". chessprofessionals.org. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Fide.com - Regulations of the WWCC Cycle
  5. ^ "List of competitors : 2012 & 2013" (PDF). FIDE. Retrieved 2015-04-06. 
  6. ^ "Women's World Championship 2015: Player's Contract". FIDE. 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2015-04-06. 
  7. ^ "Feb 05 - Hou Yifan Won't Defend World Champion Title in 2015". Yourgibraltartv.com. 2015-02-05. Retrieved 2015-04-06. 
  8. ^ "Challenge Hou Yifan, Timur Gareev and Sam Shankland in Hawaii!". Chess.com. 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2015-04-06. 
  9. ^ "Women's World Championship About To Take Off (But Hou Yifan Doesn't Play)". chess24.com. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Mariya Muzychuk Wins Women's World Championship". Chess.com. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h "Mariya Muzychuk is Women's World Chess Champion". FIDE. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "* Chess game search engine". Chessgames.com. Retrieved 2015-04-06. 
  13. ^ "Women's World Championship 2015: Ranking List & Pairings". FIDE. 2015-03-03. Retrieved 2015-04-06. 

External links[edit]