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🏆 Women's World Championship Knockout Tournament (2015)

  PARTICIPANTS (sorted by highest achieved rating; click on name to see player's games)
Humpy Koneru, Anna Muzychuk, Ju Wenjun, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Tatiana Kosintseva, Zhao Xue, Mariya Muzychuk, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Antoaneta Stefanova, Alisa Galliamova, Pia Cramling, Valentina Gunina, Viktorija Cmilyte, Tingjie Lei, Dronavalli Harika, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, Marie Sebag, Bela Khotenashvili, Tan Zhongyi, Elina Danielian, Hoang Thanh Trang, Natalija Pogonina, Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, Monika (Bobrowska) Socko, Olga Girya, Lilit Mkrtchian, Irina Krush, Anna Ushenina, Lela Javakhishvili, Natalia Zhukova, Huang Qian, Alina Kashlinskaya, Elisabeth Paehtz, Ekaterina Atalik, Shen Yang, Salome Melia, Inna Gaponenko, Deimante Daulyte-Cornette, Nino Khurtsidze, Qi Guo, Deysi Estela Cori Tello, Sopiko Guramishvili, Zhang Xiaowen, Irine Kharisma Sukandar, Meri Arabidze, Wang Jue, Mary Ann Gomes, Sophie Milliet, Carolina Lujan, Baira Kovanova, Tatev Abrahamyan, Guliskhan Nakhbayeva, Kubra Ozturk, Yuanling Yuan, Camilla Baginskaite, Thi Thanh An Nguyen, Mitra Hejazipour, Yaniet Marrero Lopez, Irina Berezina, Marisa Zuriel, Shamima Akter Liza, Shrook Wafa, Amina Mezioud, Ayah Moaataz

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
Women's World Championship Knockout Tournament (2015)

The FIDE Women's World Championship originally scheduled from 11 to 31 October 2014 was held from 17 March to 5 April 2015 in Sochi, Russia (with a rest day on 1 April). It featured 64 players in a series of knockout matches. Rounds 1-5 had two games each, plus tiebreak games if necessary. The final Round 6 was a match of four games, with the winner declared Women's World Champion. The prize fund was $450,000, with the winner taking home $60,000. Players received 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and 30 more minutes for the rest of the game, with 30 seconds added per move from move 1. The tiebreaks consisted of two 25 min + 10-sec increment Rapid games, then if needed two additional 10+10 Rapid games, two 5+3 Blitz games (two 5+10 Rapid games in the final) and finally a single Armageddon game, where White had 5 minutes to Black's 4, but a draw counted as a win for Black. Chief organizer: Andrey Filatov. Chief arbiter: Zsuzsa Veroci Petronic.

The reigning World Champion Yifan Hou did not participate. On way to the final, Mariya Muzychuk beat Yuanling Yuan in Round 1, Monika (Bobrowska) Socko in Round 2, Antoaneta Stefanova in Round 3, Humpy Koneru in the quarterfinal, and Dronavalli Harika in the semifinal. Natalia Pogonina eliminated Qi Guo in Round 1, Ju Wenjun in Round 2, Marie Sebag in Round 3, Zhao Xue in the quarterfinal, and Pia Cramling in the semifinal. The final match started 2 April. Muzychuk won the second game and became the 15th Women's World Champion.

Elo 1 2 3 4 Mariya Muzychuk 2526 ½ 1 ½ ½ 2½ Natalia Pogonina 2456 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1½

Official site: https://web.archive.org/web/2015040...
Regulations: https://web.archive.org/web/2015042...
Mark Weeks: https://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/b4...
Chess.com: https://www.chess.com/news/view/mar...
ChessBase 1: https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-w...
ChessBase 2: https://en.chessbase.com/post/mariy...
TWIC: https://theweekinchess.com/html/twi...
FIDE: https://ratings.fide.com/tournament...
Wikipedia article: Women's World Chess Championship 2015

Previous: Ushenina - Hou Women's World Championship Match (2013) (Yifan Hou regained the title by defeating Anna Ushenina). Next: Muzychuk - Hou Women's World Championship Match (2016) (Yifan Hou again regained the title by defeating Mariya Muzychuk)

 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 201  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Koneru vs Ayah Moaataz 1-0312015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD06 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. S Wafa vs Ju Wenjun  0-1382015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB23 Sicilian, Closed
3. A Muzychuk vs A Mezioud 1-0232015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentC48 Four Knights
4. S Akter Liza vs Cmilyte  0-1272015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentA84 Dutch
5. Kosteniuk vs I Berezina 1-0232015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB07 Pirc
6. C Baginskaite vs V Gunina  0-1372015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
7. Zhao Xue vs M Zuriel  1-0382015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentE73 King's Indian
8. Y Yuan vs M Muzychuk 1-0462015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB15 Caro-Kann
9. A Stefanova vs T Nguyen  ½-½432015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD02 Queen's Pawn Game
10. K Ozturk vs B Khotenashvili  0-1422015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD76 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.cd Nxd5, 7.O-O Nb6
11. P Cramling vs M Hejazipour  1-0462015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentA46 Queen's Pawn Game
12. T Abrahamyan vs D Harika 0-1572015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentC05 French, Tarrasch
13. E Danielian vs Y Marrero Lopez  ½-½492015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentE56 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 7...Nc6
14. G Nakhbayeva vs Tan Zhongyi  ½-½242015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
15. A Ushenina vs Zhang Xiaowen  1-0682015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentE10 Queen's Pawn Game
16. C Lujan vs A Galliamova 1-0322015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
17. T Kosintseva vs M A Gomes ½-½802015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
18. Wang Jue vs M Sebag 0-1812015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
19. L Javakhishvili vs S Guramishvili 1-0512015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentA48 King's Indian
20. M Arabidze vs E Paehtz ½-½152015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
21. I Krush vs S Milliet 1-0752015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
22. K Arakhamia-Grant vs Hoang Thanh Trang  1-0452015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentC11 French
23. Huang Qian vs B Kovanova  ½-½412015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentA30 English, Symmetrical
24. I Gaponenko vs N Zhukova  ½-½122015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
25. M Socko vs D Daulyte-Cornette  ½-½292015Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD05 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 201  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 24 OF 24 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-06-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Final cb report: http://en.chessbase.com/post/mariya...
Apr-06-15  Kanatahodets: "Mariya Muzychuk became the 15th Women World Champion against all odds. Perhaps a sign that she was not one of the weaker candidates is that for her monumental effert, the end result was.... a loss of two Elo!" That's funny:)
Apr-06-15  Kanatahodets: Anyway, Maria is the cutest WC in the history of chess. And it seems to me the nicest after Hou.
Apr-06-15  Nerwal: <Final cb report: http://en.chessbase.com/post/mariya...

Those Chessbase reports have been terrible. Focussing on mistakes, criticizing at every opportunity, drowning the tension of the fights in computerized variations. To crown this achievement, we learned in commentary of game 3 that ♖+f♙+h♙ vs ♖ is an easy draw (tell that to Eljanov, Aronian, and many others), and in game 4 we see quoted a game between 1300 players as reference.

Apr-06-15  dumbgai: <quoted a game between 1300 players as reference>

The best part of that report!

Apr-06-15  dumbgai: I was 1300 once, but didn't make much of a contribution to opening theory, I'm afraid.
Apr-06-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: I was 1300 once, and I made a ton of contribution to opening theory, all of which was classified under: "Do not play this move!", I'm afraid.
Apr-06-15  dx9293: <Nerwal> Agree. The ChessBase reports have been shameful.

It's clear the author (Albert Silver) does not respect the event or the players in it (even though most of them were 2400-2500+). I'd like to see how he would do in this tournament: lose 0-2 in the first round I'm sure.

Knockout tournaments are going to have more mistakes and blunders, because the tension is increased by the "lose and go home" nature of the event. Those who would like to popularize chess might consider adopting this format more often. The drama in the Women's World Championship was unbelievable!

Apr-06-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: 1300 not, but I heard some GM regularly looks at all games at 1800+ level in search for opening ideas.

Actually, many an opening trap popularized by GM games in the pre-computer era was most probably first discovered at a much lower level.

Apr-06-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: As for Muzychuk's alleged "against-all-odds" victory. She performed as good as the rating predicted (though much better if we exclude that first round loss). She was seeded 8th, not some 50th. Rated just 30 points below the second seed Ju Wenjun at the start of the tournament. That's what you call an underdog? Being the tiny 30 points below #2?
Apr-06-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: Thanks to everyone for following this event. I hope it has been an entertaining tournament to keep an eye on. One of the representatives of a major Russian news site told me that the online broadcast of the final match had better ratings at their site than football matches. They didn't expect so much attention at all!

I am extremely exhausted and am leaving for the Women's World Team Chess Championship in a few days. If China grants me a visa after what has happened here, of course :)

Apr-06-15  Kanatahodets: Congrats Natasha for your resilience. it was fun to watch. each time after your loss i said - she will be back:)
Apr-06-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: < If China grants me a visa after what has happened here, of course :)>

I think Natalie eliminated several Chinese players. Let's hope they don't imprison her in the Forbidden City.

Apr-06-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <HMM> There is an old saying in poker: You can shear a sheep many a time, but you can only skin him once.
Apr-07-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I wonder if China will put up a bid for Hou again? They certainly have the money. Muzychuk then gets an extra 10% of the prize money, for playing in the opponent's country.

Maybe Donald Trump will put in a bid, and have the match in a Trump hotel ballroom? I suppose the two players would have to kiss his ring and tell him "You're mortal!" before the opening game.

Apr-07-15  Beholder: <Natalia Pogonina: Thanks to everyone for following this event. I hope it has been an entertaining tournament to keep an eye on.>

It definitely was! Congrats on your very strong showing, on becoming the vice-champ, on earning a sizeable prize, and most of all, on an incredible heroic feat of coming back from defeat THREE TIMES in a row!!!

That was quite an achievement in itself.

Apr-07-15  ChessMan94: I'm afriad Maria's reign will be a short one. Hou will regain the title.
Apr-07-15  parmetd: Good luck Natalia. I was rooting for you.
Apr-07-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Closing ceremony: Mariya Muzychuk is crowned> cb report, pictures and comments.

http://en.chessbase.com/post/closin...

Apr-08-15  Pedro Fernandez: Dear Natalia, we appreciate your kinda post and let me tell you that a lot of your pals were betting for your success. Good job dear Pogonina. A warm greetings for you and your family, specially to your son.
Apr-08-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: a fine tournament ended, with two great warriors on the podium.

"Um....this unicorn thing is kind of itchy...can I take it off now?"

<http://en.chessbase.com/Portals/4/f...>

Apr-14-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: Here is an in-depth interview with me on the championship and other related issues. Hope you will enjoy reading it:

http://pogonina.com/index.php?optio...

Jul-07-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Well, this is nice for MM but the format is not so good for chess. Maybe a tournament is OK for choosing the challenger for the title, but until MM beats HY in a match this crown is not so significant.

FIDE once upon a time did things well. Zonal tournaments followed by Inter Zonal tournaments, the highest placing players from the IZTs then played knockout matches to determine a worthy challenger.

Even so, the worthy challenger had to take the crown from the champ by winning a match or else having the champ resign the title (like Lasker & Fischer did).

Nowadays things have gotten silly, especially with the women's format.

Jul-14-15  Boomie: <thegoodanarchist: Well, this is nice for MM but the format is not so good for chess.>

Read Pogonina's interview. She points out the financial problems FIDE has had in supporting women's events. Apparently it's easier to find a sponsor for one knockout tournament than many playoffs. Plus it is more exciting for the spectators as there are many must win games.

In an ideal world, the challenger would come out of a candidate match system and the title settled by a longish match with the champ. But this world is anything but ideal.

Sep-14-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <detritus....Plus Cramling, being in her early 50s, and presumably post-menopausal, won't have to worry about ill-timed menstruation!>

One might say that, in that case, no further detritus shall cloud her thought processes or gum up the works.

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