WWch Rd3 tiebreaks: Nervy and dramatic

Six players returned to the SCC Galactica to find out who would advance to the quarterfinals, with only three tickets into the last eight. For the Russians, it was a very nervous affair since two of them were Russian, and elimination of the two would mean that was that. There are no easy matches left, and it showed as the games were nervy and dramatic.

In the first rapid game Marie Sebag (France) and Natalia Pogonina (Russia) repeated the line that occurred in the Carlsen-Anand World Championship match (Sochi 2014). Pogonina improved Anand’s play and got a comfortable position. Sebag continued playing aggressively, allowing the opponent to seize control of the d-file. As described by Pogonina, “She understandably tried hard for a win, but blundered badly when she was very short on time.”

France’s Marie Sebag (right) came with a will to win, but her nerves betrayed her in the end

The return game was a wild one in which Marie even had a few chances to win, but desperately short of time, the players erred understandably, and in the end luck was on Pogonina’s side as Sebag overstepped her time in a lost position.

Alexandra Kosteniuk was one of the final two Russians left in the competition

Harika Dronavalli (India) played a quiet opening against Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) in their first game, aiming at a complex middlegame, but nothing came of it until the end when Kosteniuk blundered a pawn in a rook ending, after which Dronavalli did not squander her chance.

In spite of the Zen-like posture, shoes off and legs tucked under her, Harika was not quite so calm

In the second game Harika equalized in the opening and even won a pawn. However, Alexandra managed to keep the game alive, and her persistence paid off as her Indian opponent lost control of the position and suddenly it was not so clear, and then at move 61…

Kosteniuk – Dronavalli

In this position, Black just took a pawn on g2. White played 61.Re6+ a terrible
blunder as it condemns the result to a draw. Instead, the body check 61.Ke5!
would have won the game, and forced the tiebreak into a second mini-match.

To be fair, it was a rapid game and both players were extremely short of time. White missed her chance, and Dronavalli thus advanced to the quarterfinals.

Georgian Meri Arabidze was the slightly unexpected winner over Victoria Cmilyte, but earned it deservingly, acknowledged graciously by the Lithuanian

The young Georgian Meri Arabidze showed excellent technique against Victoria Cmilyte (Lithuania), defeating her in the first game as she converted a strong centralized rook into a winning endgame. In the return game Cmilyte created massive complications and won a pawn, however, Meri showed great tenacity and held the draw, securing her spot into the Last Eight.

During the event, activities, seminars, and more are organized to promote the game

Anastasia Karlovich holding a princess in her arms

Vladimir Barsky has been providing photos at the site and for the Russian Chess Federation

Report by Albert Silver and Eteri Kublashvili
Photos by Eteri Kublashvili, Anastasia Karlovich, and Vladimir Barsky


Round 3 pairings / results

Player Fed Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Koneru, Humpy IND 2581 1 1 2
Galliamova, Alisa RUS 2484 0 0 0
Player Fed Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Sebag, Marie FRA 2482 1 0 0 0 1
Pogonina, Natalia RUS 2456 0 1 1 1 3
Player Fed Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Muzychuk, Anna UKR 2552 ½ 1 1.5
Javakhishvili, Lela GEO 2481 ½ 0 0.5
Player Fed Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Arabidze, Meri GEO 2374 ½ ½ 1 ½ 2.5
Cmilyte, Vktorija LTU 2530 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1.5
Player Fed Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Kosteniuk, Alexandra RUS 2529 0  1 0 ½ 1.5
Harika, Dronavalli IND 2492 1  0 1 ½ 2.5
Player Fed Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Cramling, Pia SWE 2495 1 ½ 1.5
Gunina, Valentina RUS 2528 0  ½ 0.5
Player Fed Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Zhao, Xue CHN 2527 1  ½ 1.5
Khotenashvili, Bela GEO 2513 0 ½ 0.5
Player Fed Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Stefanova, Antoaneta BUL 2552 0 ½ 0.5
Muzychuk, Mariya UKR 2526 1 ½ 1.5

Schedule

Round 1 – 64 players
March 17 Game 1 3:00 p.m. local time
March 18 Game 2 3:00 p.m. local time
March 19 Tie breaks 3:00 p.m. local time
Round 2 – 32 players
March 20 Game 1 3:00 p.m. local time
March 21 Game 2 3:00 p.m. local time
March 22 Tie breaks 3:00 p.m. local time
Round 3 – 16 players
March 23 Game 1 3:00 p.m. local time
March 24 Game 2 3:00 p.m. local time
March 25 Tie breaks 3:00 p.m. local time
Round 4 – 8 players
March 26 Game 1 3:00 p.m. local time
March 27 Game 2 3:00 p.m. local time
March 28 Tie breaks 3:00 p.m. local time
Round 5 – 4 players
March 29 Game 1 3:00 p.m. local time
March 30 Game 2 3:00 p.m. local time
March 31 Tie breaks 3:00 p.m. local time
Rest day – April, 1
Round 6 – 2 players
April 2 Game 1 3:00 p.m. local time
April 3 Game 2 3:00 p.m. local time
April 4 Game 3 3:00 p.m. local time
April 5 Game 4 3:00 p.m. local time
April 6 Tie breaks 3:00 p.m. local time
April 7 Closing Ceremony*
*Closing Ceremony can be shifted to
April 6 in the absence of tie breaks

 

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