The concluding games of the 2nd round matches of the FIDE Women’s World Chess Championship were played on March 21 at SCC Galactica (Sochi, Krasnaya Polyana).
There was a special guest at the tournament today – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Before the start of the round he came to the playing hall to greet the participants and arbiters, then met the broadcasting team and briefly joined the live stream with Sergey Shipov and Ilya Smirin.
The FIDE President presented him a chess set produced for the 2014 World Championship Carlsen-Anand match that also took place in Sochi.
The 12th World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk was the first player to advance to the 3rd round. Yesterday Kosteniuk defeated the Chinese player Shen Yang, so today she was content with a draw. In a very promising position Alexandra forced a draw by the perpetual check, securing the match victory.
The Galliamova-Kosintseva match followed a similar plot: Alisa Galliamova won the first game, then obtained a significant advantage in the second one and offered a draw in a position with an extra pawn, which her opponent accepted.
Valentina Gunina once again defeated another Russian player Olga Girya and advanced to the next round. The top seed of the championship Humpy Koneru (India) also won her match 2-0, beating the Chinese Lei Tingjie.
Victoria Cmilyte (Lithuania) successfully defended against Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Russia) and advanced to the 3rd round thanks to her first game victory. Thus, none of the five players who lost on the first day managed to equalize the score, and all of them were eliminated from the championship.
Other players advancing to the 3rd round: Natalia Pogonina (Russia) defeated the second seed Ju Wenjun (China), Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine) def. Alexandra Goryachkina (Russia), Zhao Xue (China) def. Salome Melia (Georgia), Pia Cramling (Sweden) def. Ketino Arakhamia-Grant (Scotland), Meri Arabidze (Georgia) def. Yanet Marrero Lopez (Cuba), and Lela Javakhishvili (Georgia) def. Tan Zhongyi (China).
The rest of the matches were tied, and the players will return tomorrow for the tie-breaks: Socko (Poland) – M. Muzychuk (Ukraine), Stefanova (Bulgaria) – Gaponenko (Ukraine), Krush (USA) – Dronavalli (India), Ushenina (Ukraine) – Sebag (France) and Huang Qian (China) – Khotenashvili (Georgia).
The tie-breaks begin with two rapid games of 25 minutes + 10 seconds per move. If the score remains equal, the players proceed to another two games with a slightly faster time control – 10 minutes + 10 seconds per move. If these games do not determine the winner as well, then there are two blitz games: 5 minutes + 3 seconds per move. Finally, if the score is still even, there is an Armageddon game: White has 5 minutes, Black has 4 minutes, 3 seconds per move are added after the move 61, and a draw counts as a win for Black.
Online stream of the championship in English and Russian languages can be found on the official site of the event (http://sochi2015.fide.com) or on the RCF website (http://ruchess.ru/).