The Bulgarian, playing White, decided to test her opponent’s knowledge in a very sharp opening variation known as the Slav Gambit: White sacrifices a central pawn, but forces Black to keep the king in the center and obtains long-lasting initiative.
Ushenina, however, deviated from the main lines, and by the 10th move the players reached an original position with complicated strategic and tactical pattern.
The position looked more promising for White, but Stefanova possibly misplayed it on the next few moves. Ushenina could sacrifice a pawn for the initiative and try to utilize her development lead. This would create a very sharp game risky for both sides.
However, the Ukrainian preferred a safer path, simplifying the position, and the players agreed to a draw already on the 17th move on a half-empty board.
The match score is 1-1. The third game of the final is played on Thursday, November 29th, Anna Ushenina has White.
The final match began on November 27. This is a best-of-four match. If the score after four games is 2-2, the players continue on tie-break. The tie-breaks begin with two rapid games: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move for each player. If the score is 1-1, they will continue with two quicker games: 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move.
If the winner is still not determined, the players will proceed to blitz games: 5 minutes plus 3 seconds per move. Finally, is the score remains equal, the Armageddon game steps up: White has 5 minutes, Black has 4 minutes, 3 seconds per move are added starting with the move 61, and a draw counts as a victory for Black.