Posted on: December 15, 2012

Ukranian GM Anna Ushenina wins Womens World Chess Championship

By Ravi Kumar

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Ukranian GM Anna Ushenina wins Womens World Chess Championship

Anna Ushenina of Ukraine has been crowned as the new women`s World Championship after she defeated Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria in the first set of tie-break games in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia.

Post the 2-2 deadlock in the ordinary games, the stage was set for a dramatic finale and Ushenina emerged as victorious securing the second game under rapid time control after the first game had ended in a draw.

The Ukrainian GM won 60000 USD for her scintillating display in the championship and will now have to play the next World Championship against Yifan Hou of China next year as part of the new leg in the women`s World Championship.

The prestigious championship in which 64 players across the world contended resulted in a tie-break similar to the men`s World Championship earlier this year where Indian GM Vishwanathan Anand won defeating Israeli GM Boris Gelfand in the rapid tie-break.

As far as the Indian challenge in the championship is considered, it was far from satisfactory as it had lasted till the semi-finals only where Dronvalli Harika went down to Stefanova after an intensive struggle.

Reacting about the match progress, Ushenina did not toned out explaining candidly that it was an exhaustive schedule all the way.

"The match was very interesting, but we were clearly tired and made many mistakes. In the third and fourth games we exchanged blows -- first I took the lead, then Antoaneta equalised the score. In the first tie-break game white stood better, but I held a draw. In the second game black was slightly worse, but Antoaneta was very short on time, defended inaccurately and gave me a chance to win," said the new women`s world champion.

Ushenina offered thanks to all connected with her for the title. Talking about the support she got, Ushenina said, "My parents, friends and many people from all over the world supported me during the championship, and I am very thankful to them. It was a big pleasure. The final match with Antoaneta was definitely the hardest part. Each game of it was extremely important."

It may be remembered that the big favorites in the championship Yifan Hou, Koneru Humpy of India and Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine had crashed out without even reaching to the third round, leaving the field wide open. Stefanova was the last remaining big star who displayed a sportive side of her as she fought on till the end but could not maintain the guile of Ushenina in the tie-break.

In the first tie-breaker, the Ukranian had to find few right moves before she equalised and an unsuspecting Stefanova was tamed to a new idea in the second tie-break game. Ushenina obtained big lead on time and amounted pressure to lead the game in to a rook and pawns endgame with two extra pawns. The Bulgarian GM had to give up eventually when there were no chances left.

Ushenina`s win will bring in a drastic change in Ukraine`s women chess but Indians, Koneru Humpy and D Harika have to remain in the fray for two more years prior to their contention for the title again.

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