In Khanty-Mansiysk ended the world championship on chess among women. The title of the strongest results Chesterhouse of the shootout defended the Chinese Ju of Panizzon. In this dramatic final, she defeated Russian Ekaterina Lahno, who just six weeks before the competition gave birth to their fourth child. While 28-year-old chess player became the first in three years, the representative of Russia, who fought in the finals for the chess crown.

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While in London Magnus Carlsen and Fabian Caruana, trying unsuccessfully to determine who is worthy of wearing the chess crown in Khanty-Mansiysk, the winner of the women’s world championship in this sport. The tournament was attended by 64 girls in the matches of playoffs played the title of the strongest chess players of the planet.


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The women’s world Cup was held in this format in recent times. The new President of the International chess Federation (FIDE), Arkady Dvorkovich promised that from now on girls will determine the best in their sport as well as men in match play.

In the past both formats are alternated with each other every year and this negatively influenced the value of the title. It often happens that the world champion refused to re-go through all the stages of the playoffs, to prove their right to own a chess crown.

The tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk was lucky — it was attended by the current world champion from China Ju of Panizzon. She won the title in March of this year, after he challenged her compatriot tan Junyi. Their meeting was to be held last season, but due to inconsistencies in the international calendar took place in one year with the shootout.

Try to shift the Ju from the chess Olympus volunteered many famous chess players — Russians Ekaterina Lahno, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Natalia Pogonina, Valentina Gunina, sisters Anna and Mariya Muzychuk from Ukraine, Georgian Nana Dzagnidze and lost the title tan Junyi.

Ju calmly defended its right to defend the title, confidently going in the tournament and knocking in the semi-finals Kosteniuk (1½ — ½). Convincing enough to a decisive match and got Lahno, who beat in the semifinals, Maria Muzychuk (3 — 1).

For Russian athletes, to the 2014 speakers for Ukraine, participation in the championship was a real feat. A month and a half ago Lahno returned to the sport after the birth of their fourth child. Leaving him in the care of her husband, the famous chess player Alexander Grischuk, 28-year-old athlete didn’t come to Khanty-Mansiysk for on-duty performances, and was the first in three years, the Russian chess player, to join the fight for the chess crown. Last chance to become world champion was Natalia Pogonina in 2015, but then she lost to Anna Muzychuk.

A difficult finale

The final series of four games started for Lahno sorgudan. She twice achieved a draw with the black pieces and won the match white, showing a perfect play from debut to finale. To become a world champion Lahno was enough to draw white — on chance that the dream of all chess players.

At this point the Russian player flinch. Sicilian defense didn’t give her any advantage in the early game, and Ju of Venisson counterattacks were able to restore the balance. In the middle of the game Lahno unforgivable spent a lot of time pondering the moves and put himself in time trouble. The Chinese had a brief but effective attack with a rook sacrifice and won.

On tie-break from the Chinese woman had the obvious advantage, because in addition to the title of world champion in classical chess it is also the best and blitz. Two games with time control 25 minutes in a calm manner and ended with a logical draws.

When the time was reduced to 10 minutes per game with the addition of 10 seconds after each move, Lahno some time led an equal battle white, but one mistake allowed Ju to win the match. To sharpen the game with black in the fourth game tie-break to Russian already failed, and the struggle for the chess crown was lost. Chinese athlete once again became the world champion and the first in history who managed to defend his title in the shootout.

Three weeks after the start of the Women’s World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk, the world’s strongest woman chess player was determined. Rating favorite of the event Ju Wenjun from China, defended the title won in the spring, beating the Russian Kateryna Lagno in the final match.

— chessugra (@ugrachess) November 23, 2018

“I’m happy with my game. The fourth time I came to Khanty-Mansiysk and already love this city. As for the final match, Lahno showed him a very confident game, took the lead after the second match. I was lucky that I was able to equalize and then win the tie-break,” said Ju after the match.

We will add that in 2019 the Russians will again have the chance to compete for the chess crown. Along with Kosteniuk and Muzychuk Maria she had already qualified for the candidates tournament, which will set the rival Ju in the following League match.