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Women's World Championship (2017)

  PARTICIPANTS (sorted by highest achieved rating; click on name to see player's games)
Anna Muzychuk, Ju Wenjun, Zhao Xue, Nana Dzagnidze, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Antoaneta Stefanova, Pia Cramling, Valentina Gunina, Dronavalli Harika, Zhu Chen, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, Bela Khotenashvili, Elina Danielian, Tan Zhongyi, Hoang Thanh Trang, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Natalia Pogonina, Monika (Bobrowska) Socko, Lilit Mkrtchian, Anna Ushenina, Lela Javakhishvili, Nino Batsiashvili, Natalia Zhukova, Huang Qian, Olga Girya, Elisabeth Paehtz, Ekaterina Polovnikova-Atalik, Shen Yang, Salome Melia, Inna Gaponenko, Anastasia Bodnaruk, Nino Khurtsidze, Alina Kashlinskaya, Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, Padmini Rout, Marina Romanko Nechaeva, Deysi Estela Cori Tello, Sopiko Guramishvili, Anastasia Savina, Irine Kharisma Sukandar, Nastassia Ziaziulkina, Dinara Saduakassova, Le Thao Nguyen Pham, Sopio Gvetadze, Daria Charochkina, Mo Zhai, Olga Zimina, Shiqun Ni, Sabina-Francesca Foisor, Katerina Nemcova, Atousa Pourkashiyan, Mitra Hejazipour, Yaniet Marrero Lopez, Maritza Arribas Robaina, Qiyu Zhou, Nataliya Buksa, Viktorija Ni, Ayelen Martinez, Khaled Mona, Shamima Akter Liza, Amina Mezioud, Sabrina Latreche, Nancy Lane Chess Event Description
Women's World Championship (2017)

Official site:
See also: Wikipedia article: Women's World Chess Championship 2017 (with pairings tree)

Rules and Details:

The 2017 FIDE Women's World Championship, held from February 11 to March 3 in Tehran, Iran, features 64 (1) players in a series of knockout matches. The early rounds are two games each, plus a tiebreak if necessary. The final is a match of four games, plus a possible tiebreak, with the winner declared Women's World Champion. The prize fund is USD $450,000 with the winner taking home $60,000.

Players receive 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with a 30-second increment from move one. The tiebreaks consist of two 25 min + 10-sec increment rapid games, then if needed two additional 10+10 games, two 5+3 blitz games and finally a single Armageddon game, where White has 5 minutes to Black's 4, but a draw counts as a win for Black. (2)

Controversial Points:

Reigning Women's World Champion Yifan Hou is not participating. Other notable absentees are Koneru Humpy and Irina Krush, as well as US Women's Champion Nazi Paikidze, and Mariya Muzychuk who are boycotting the event over the choice of the Iranian venue.

Live Relay: will be relaying the finals live, at our Live Broadcast Page, between the dates Feb 27 - Mar 3.
Live relay of the entire championship:

ChessBookie Action:

Women's Knockout WCC 2017 Stage 5: Anna Muzychuk - Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's Knockout WCC 2017 Stage 5: Tan Zhongyi - Harika Dronavalli

(1) The event starts with only 63 players, due to the recent passing away of qualifier Cristina-Adela Foisor. Her intended first-round opponent, Olga Girya, is seeded directly into the second round.
(2) Source: chess24

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 200  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Zhu Chen vs I K Sukandar  1-041 2017 Women's World ChampionshipE20 Nimzo-Indian
2. P Cramling vs K Nemcova 1-052 2017 Women's World ChampionshipD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
3. S Guramishvili vs S Khademalsharieh 1-038 2017 Women's World ChampionshipE20 Nimzo-Indian
4. M Socko vs A Savina  ½-½96 2017 Women's World ChampionshipC41 Philidor Defense
5. D Charochkina vs Huang Qian  0-175 2017 Women's World ChampionshipD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
6. N Zhukova vs Khurtsidze 0-131 2017 Women's World ChampionshipE20 Nimzo-Indian
7. N Ziaziulkina vs A Ushenina ½-½22 2017 Women's World ChampionshipB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
8. E Danielian vs P Rout ½-½57 2017 Women's World ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
9. S Melia vs E Polovnikova-Atalik 1-035 2017 Women's World ChampionshipC53 Giuoco Piano
10. L Mkrtchian vs Shiqun Ni ½-½40 2017 Women's World ChampionshipD85 Grunfeld
11. O Zimina vs B Khotenashvili  ½-½40 2017 Women's World ChampionshipD85 Grunfeld
12. D Saduakassova vs M R Nechaeva  1-052 2017 Women's World ChampionshipD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. I Gaponenko vs E Kovalevskaya  1-070 2017 Women's World ChampionshipB33 Sicilian
14. D E Cori Tello vs A Kashlinskaya ½-½39 2017 Women's World ChampionshipE51 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
15. Le Thao Nguyen Pham vs L Javakhishvili  ½-½63 2017 Women's World ChampionshipE17 Queen's Indian
16. M Hejazipour vs A Bodnaruk 1-038 2017 Women's World ChampionshipB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
17. A Goryachkina vs Mo Zhai  ½-½36 2017 Women's World ChampionshipD22 Queen's Gambit Accepted
18. Ju Wenjun vs N Lane 1-028 2017 Women's World ChampionshipD00 Queen's Pawn Game
19. A Mezioud vs A Muzychuk  0-133 2017 Women's World ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
20. Kosteniuk vs S Latreche 1-029 2017 Women's World ChampionshipC77 Ruy Lopez
21. S Akter Liza vs D Harika  ½-½85 2017 Women's World ChampionshipC53 Giuoco Piano
22. N Dzagnidze vs K Mona 0-164 2017 Women's World ChampionshipA09 Reti Opening
23. V Ni vs V Gunina 0-156 2017 Women's World ChampionshipA16 English
24. A Stefanova vs Y Marrero Lopez  1-041 2017 Women's World ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
25. A Martinez vs Zhao Xue  0-141 2017 Women's World ChampionshipC10 French
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 200  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-21-17  Kaspablanca: <notyetagm> In fact Carlsen declined to play in this format when Boris Gelfand won and played Anand in the WC match.
Feb-21-17  JimNorCal: <don jova> The winner of this WC will play Yu Wenjun, the winner of the Grand Prix, in the match for the WC.

Wait. What?

Feb-21-17  chesslearner1991: If the winner of this Grand Prix is going to play Ju Wenjin, then why did she played in this tournament? May be to get experience in this format?
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Hou is not "the real world champion", just as Polgar never was. Don't mix world champion and best player. You cannot be a world champion without playing a world championship - just as you cannot be the best player without having played a single game.

Carlsen by the way declined in 2011 not do much because it was a knockout but vs star the batches came one after another. His demand was either two more games per match (6-6-8 instead of 4-4-6) or a lengthy pause between the semifinal and the final. Both variants were blocked by Gelfand.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: "Vs star the batches"? Weird phone. Because the matches!
Feb-22-17  donjova: <JimNorCal> All these previous times Hou played a match against the knockout world champions, she was the winner of the Grand Prix (thereby gaining the right to "challenge" the champion). Only in 2011, she played the match as a champion (knockout winner) versus the challenger, GP winner Koneru.

This time, Hou has withdrawn from the GP after one tournament and Ju was the eventual winner.

If Ju had also won this WC, then she would play a match against Koneru, who was the GP runner-up.

So, basically, this is the tournament for the new WC, and Ju is already a designated challenger.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: drona wins game one of the tie breakers. she looks to be making the semis.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Tan vs Harika
Muzychuk vs Kostenuik

That's numbers 2, 3, 4 and 9 in the semifinals.

Premium Chessgames Member
  botvinnik64: I love the semi-final match-ups; too tough too call, especially in a mini match situation. I would think that the winner, however, might come from Ukraine-Russia battle...
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: are the semis also 2 games or does it switch to 4 games?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <HeMateMe>
Or maybe the semis are 3 games? You tell us!
Feb-22-17  donjova: Traditionally, the semis have been 3 games, but this time FIDE decided to change that to 5 games to appease Hou, who has complained that this short KO format is a lottery (there was also a rumor that three games would be controversial in Iran, because of the allusion to Holy Trinity). Hou still refused to participate, however, stating that playing five games in the semifinals against the female player is simply unfair.

Seriously, sometimes it takes less effort to find the answer than to ask the question.

Premium Chessgames Member
  botvinnik64: Just to be clear: THIS knock-out tourney is The decider for Women's World Championship: there isn't anything after this - at least for now. Yes, it is weird without Hou, Humpy and the rest. Maybe the trend is 'wither all(only) female competitions, except for the children? Perhaps...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I thought it was the decider for Women Wearing Headscarves Championship...
Feb-22-17  donjova: <botvinnik64: Just to be clear: THIS knock-out tourney is The decider for Women's World Championship>

Yes. Now I see the wording in one of my previous posts was a bit odd. :)

The winner of this tournament becomes World Champion. Then, in 2018, the World Champion plays the match against the challenger, Ju Wenjun.

The identity of a challenger is known before the identity of a champion, which is also odd. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: The WWH? Sounds like it could be a rival to the GLOW. Somebody call Vince McMahon.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Regardless of who wins this tournament and the title decided to adjourn it, it will have no prestige in the world community. She will be regarded just as worthy as Khalifman, when he became "world champion" in 1999. Btw, where are you now, Alexander Khalifman?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Sokrates> yeah, I was thinking of him and Pono et al. It's a shame, but I certainly would love to have that success on my resume'.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I think Hou would play against another woman in an open tournament -- right now there's nobody that strong.
Feb-22-17  sonia91: <donjova: The identity of a challenger is known before the identity of a champion, which is also odd. :)> That's because the WWC was scheduled for October 2016, while the last Grand Prix stage took place in Dec 2016.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <Btw, where are you now, Alexander Khalifman?>

He keeps writing about chess a lot.

<yeah, I was thinking of him and Pono et al.>

Pono had the misfortune to have peaked extremely early. Az 14 he became a GM - youngest ever at that time (later this record was beaten by Bu and Bu's by Krajakin). He was rated #6 in the world when he won that KO championship at te age of 18 - actually, I think at some point he was top 3 from pure playing strength point of few, his rating just didn't catch up. But after winning it, things started to go downhill. Never again did he come even close to #6. Ratingwise he could get 20 points higher, but that's it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Also, those who keep mentioning Khalifman and Pono, please ask me this question: why did men's KO tournaments stopped being won by such outsiders once it was rebranded into World Cup?
Feb-22-17  donjova: Speaking of Ponomariov, I think the format also favoured him: he not only won that knockout championship, but also reached the finals of the World Cup in 2009 and semifinals in 2011. Too much to be just a fluke.

Also, I'd be quite a fan of this women title format if only this tournament would be renamed to Women World Cup and serve as the qualifier for the WC match, with the GP winner being the other contender. Basically the same format, but only match counts as WC.

On one hand one could qualify via Grand Prix, which rewards good play over an extended period of time. On the other hand, you would have World Cup, an interesting format rewarding good stamina and strong nerves, which also allows a large number of players to get a chance.

And in the end, one would have to prove merit in a classical match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <Speaking of Ponomariov, I think the format also favoured him: he not only won that knockout championship, but also reached the finals of the World Cup in 2009 and semifinals in 2011. >

Also the final in 2005. And in 2007 he was eliminated in the quarters but by the eventual winner.

Premium Chessgames Member
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New/inactive players, make sure to place at least one bet before that date, if you want to be included in the payout!

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