Women’s World Championship Semi-finals; Game 1
Quick 5-Minute Summary
And then there were four…Kosteniuk, Lagno, Mariya Muczychuk and Ju Wenjun. Today the first game of the Semi-finals took place in Khanti-Mansiysk, with Kosteniuk and Muczychuk playing the White side.
Nerves cracking under the pressure…
Alexandra Kosteniuk, with the White pieces, was the first to crack as she calculated very poorly the complications and soon found herself a pawn down with nothing to show for it before move 20.
Then things took unexpected turns…at move 23 Ju Wenjun could have won a huge amount of material, virtually forcing her opponent to resign, but overlooked it.
Here 23…Qe5! followed by 24…a6 wins the house.
Wenjun then followed this up with further inaccurate play, missing several other promising continuations. Now both players fin themselves in a tough ending with Wenjun merely a pawn up but facing a long protracted struggle.
The position after 49.f4
The game is still going, and I will give the complete game once it finishes. It could take a long while…given the poor play demonstrated up to now.
The game just ended, sooner than anticipated (77 moves) when Kosteniuk was not able to hold things together. She had little patience left and probably thought it was futile…which never helps when one is hanging on by a thread. I give the game below.
Not much to write home about this game. A typical ‘grandmaster draw’: develop a few pieces, chop wood; Repeat. Of course, the tournament is tiring and perhaps it makes perfect sense to have a rest day today.
gm Kosteniuk – gm Ju Wenjun
Muczychuk,M – Lagno,K
It is clear that the players are tired and need to rest, but the show must go on! Tomorrow is game 2. Same time!