Anna Ushenina (Ukraine) and Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) played the first game of the Women’s World Chess Championship final match.
The Ukrainian had White. In a well-known opening variation White had certain initiative, but Black’s position was very solid. After the game Anna Ushenina said that she expected this opening, although her opponent does not use it often.
After the opening Antoaneta Stefanova offered a draw, but Ushenina declined and, as she confessed at the press-conference, overreacted, weakening her king too much. Soon Black won a pawn and got excellent winning chances.
However, Stefanova, being under time pressure, made a mistake on the 31st move, moving the f-pawn and weakening her king as well. White activated her queen and rook, and within the next few moves Black’s advantage evaporated. In five more moves the players agreed to a draw.
The second game is played tomorrow, November 28. Antoaneta Stefanova 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.