Women’s World Chess Championship: Humpy wins the opener

The Women’s World Chess Championship 2018 is a knock-out tournament, to decide a new women’s world champion in chess. It is the second world championship held in 2018, after the Tan Zhongyi vs Ju Wenjun match in May 2018. The tournament is a 64-player knockout format being held from 2 to 23 November in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

Knock-out Format

Five rounds of matches will be played, comprising two games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The 6th (final) round shall be played over four games and the winner will be declared Women’s World Champion.

The Indian line-up consists of GM Koneru Humpy (FIDE Nominee), GM Dronavalli Harika (2016 World Women’s Championship Bronze medalist), IM Padmini Rout (Reigning Indian Women’s Premier Champion) and WGM Bhakti Kulkarni (2016 Asian Continental Champion).

Round 1 Game 1

Higher-rated Grandmaster Koneru Humpy got off to an easy victory over Hayat Toubal of Algeria. Humpy will now just need a draw in the second game to knock -out Hayat and advance to the next round.

GM Dronavalli Harika was held to draw by lower ranked Sopiko Khukhashvili of Georgia in the first game. Harika employed Moscow variation in the Sicilian Defense and got a small advantage in the opening. Subsequently, with a careful play, Sopiko managed to equalize the game. 

IM Padmini Rout also achieved a similar result. She drew against star Kazakh player Abdumalik Zhansaya.

WGM Bhakti Kulkarni lost to WGM Natalija Pogonina of Russia. Playing the Black side of an English opening game, Bhakti was left pawn down due to her slightly inactive minor pieces. Natalija exploited the advantage and took home the point in 63 moves.

Game 2 of Round 1 begins at 3.30 p.m IST

Results: Round 1.1

 Hardegen Kathryn (AUS) 0-1  Ju Wenjun (CHN)
 Koneru Humpy (IND) 1-0  Toubal Hayat (ALG)
 February Jesse Nikki (RSA) 0-1  Lagno Kateryna (RUS)
 Muzychuk Anna (UKR) 1-0  Hamid Rani (BAN)
 Vazquez Maccarini, Danitza (PUR) 0-1  Kosteniuk Alexandra (RUS)
 Goryachkina Aleksandra (RUS) ½-½  Ouellet, Maili-Jade (CAN)
 Wafa Shahenda (EGY) 0-1  Muzychuk Mariya (UKR)
 Tan Zhongyi (CHN) 1-0  Sun Fanghui (CHN)
 Aliaga Fernandez, Ingrid Y (PER) 0-1  Gunina Valentina (RUS)
 Paehtz Elisabeth (GER) 0-1  Alinasab Mobina (IRI)
 Miranda Llanes, Yerisbel (CUB) 0-1  Dzagnidze Nana (GEO)
 Harika Dronavalli (IND) ½-½  Khukhashvili Sopiko (GEO)
 Foisor Sabina-Francesca (USA) ½-½  Stefanova Antoaneta (BUL)
 Pogonina Natalija (RUS) 1-0  Kulkarni Bhakti (IND)
 Padmini Rout (IND) ½-½  Abdumalik Zhansaya (KAZ)
 Batsiashvili Nino (GEO) 1-0  Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan (SCO)
 Zhai Mo (CHN) 1-0  Girya Olga (RUS)
 Zhao Xue (CHN) 1-0  Lujan, Carolina (ARG)
 Zhu Jineer (CHN) 1-0  Javakhishvili Lela (GEO)
 Saduakassova Dinara (KAZ) ½-½  Matnadze Ana (ESP)
 Vo Thi Kim Phung (VIE) ½-½  Khotenashvili Bela (GEO)
 Lei Tingjie (CHN) ½-½  Gara Anita (HUN)
 Shvayger Yuliya (ISR) 0-1  Socko Monika (POL)
 Ushenina Anna (UKR) 1-0  Mkrtchian Lilit (ARM)
 Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim (UZB) 1-0  Kashlinskaya Alina (RUS)
 Atalik Ekaterina (TUR) ½-½  Cori T., Deysi (PER)
 Nakhbayeva Guliskhan (KAZ) ½-½  Galliamova Alisa (RUS)
 Ni Shiqun (CHN) 0-1  Zhukova Natalia (UKR)
 Vega Gutierrez Sabrina (ESP) ½-½  Bodnaruk Anastasia (RUS)
 Hoang Thanh Trang (HUN) ½-½  Danielian Elina (ARM)
 Nechaeva (Guseva) Marina (RUS) ½-½  Zawadzka Jolanta (POL)
 Krush Irina (USA) ½-½  Gaponenko Inna (UKR)

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