2017 Women’s World Championship: Round #2

2017 Women’s World Chess Championship
February 10th-March 4th, 2017 (Tehran, Iran)
Match Scores (Round #2)
Bracket 1
1 Ju Wenjun
CHN
1½-½
Zhu Chen
QAT
2 Bodnaruk, A
RUS
0-2
Girya, O
RUS
Bracket 2
3 Zhao Xue
CHN
1½-2½
Padmini, Rout
IND
4 Tan Zhongyi
CHN
4½-4½
Ushenina, A
UKR
Bracket 3
5 Harika, Dronavalli
IND
2½-1½
Saduakassova, D
KAZ
6 Buksa, N
UKR
3½-4½
Guramishvili, S
GEO
Bracket 4
7 Dzagnidze, Nana
GEO
2-0
Zimina, Olga
ITA
8 Shen Yang
CHN
1½-½
Savina, Anastasia
RUS
Bracket 5
9 Muzychuk, A
UKR
1½-½
Kashlinskaya, A
RUS
10 Goryachkina, A
RUS
½-1½
Pham, Le Thao
VIE
Bracket 6
11 Stefanova, A
BUL
2½-1½
Melia, S
GEO
12 Batsiashvili, Nino
GEO
4-5
Khurtsidze, Nino
GEO
Bracket 7
13 Kosteniuk, A
RUS
2½-1½
Gaponenko, I
UKR
14 Paehtz, E
GER
1-3
Cramling, P
SWE
Bracket 8
15 Gunina, V
RUS
0-2
Ni Shiqun
CHN
16 Pogonina, N
RUS
3½-2½
Huang Qian
CHN
Drum Coverage
| Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3 | Round 4 |
| Semifinals | Finals |

Ju Wenjun will lead the Chinese in the next round. Photo by David Llada.

Round two of the Women’s World Championship was filled with twists and turns. There were seven tiebreak games with two going into Armageddon. Tan Zhongyi showed resilience by staving off three different elimination games to force a final sudden death game. The last game Tan had black with time-odds deficit and was able to hold. It was a good day for the Chinese as they maintained four candidates, the highest number of any federation.

It was a disastrous day for Russian players. Russia started with 10 and are down to two. One of the biggest casualties came at the hands of Ni Shiqun, an unheralded player from China who was more than a hundred points lower than her highly-fancied opponent, Valentina Gunina. Russia lost five matches, but national team members Olga Girya, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Natalija Pogonina went through. Gunina was brutally crushed by Chinese upstart Ni Shiqun.

Games from WWCC2017 (Round 2, Game 1)

Games from WWCC2017 (Round 2, Game 2)

Georgia started with a eight players and have two remaining. Two of their survivors won thrilling matches with two Georgians with the names “Nino” battled until the Armegeddon game. This match was an even affair, but it was Nino Batsiashvili who had better chances throughout. In the Armegeddon game, she was completely winning and somehow allow Nino Khurtsidze to turn the tables.

Georgian Sopiko Guramashvili certain won the award for best photo in the round and her chess-themed hijab seemed to yield results. Photo by David LLada.

After 125…Rg2+ Buksa played 126.Kxe3 when 126.Ke1 would have secured the draw and the match. Heart-breaking.

In a brutal fight against Natalija Buksa, she was down a point and needed a win to stay alive. Despite outplaying Buksa she ended up a piece up in a R+N vs. R ending. It seemed that Buksa was easily hold the draw and move on, but a bit of fate occurred during the time scramble. In the diagrammed position, instead of 126.Ke1= (126…Rxa2 stalemate) Buksa blundered with 126.Kxe3?? and 126…Rxa2 ended the game. The chess community was aghast at the turn of events, but Guramashvili simply signed the sheets and walked off as if it were an expected result.

In the last 5’+3″ game, Buksa fell behind in the opening, lost the tactical thread on the position and dropped an exchange. With her wrecked pawn structure and passive knight, she was unable to hold and Guramashvili would advance.

Games from WWCC2017 (Round 2, Tiebreaks)

Two Indian players will advance. Dronavali Harika and Padmini Rout have been seen enjoying the experience. Harika has a strong support system and has brought her grandmother along! Photo by David Llada.

So the tournament goes down to the last 16 players. Apart from the Indian duo, four Chinese, three Russians, three Georgians remain. In addition, there is one player from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Vietnam and Sweden.

Press Conference with Pia Cramling

Interview with Pia Cramling.

Pia Cramling may be the story as the congenial 53-year old has been at the top longer than some of the players have been alive. Always very gracious and humble, she looks forward to her epic match with Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Official Website: https://tehran2017.fide.com/
Live Games: https://tehran2017.fide.com/live/live.html
All PGN Games (TWIC): https://www.theweekinchess.com/

Daaim Shabazz

Dr. Daaim Shabazz is the creator and webmaster of The Chess Drum. He serves as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds an MBA in Marketing and a doctorate in International Affairs & Development. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

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