Going for the return games of the third round the four Russian players were facing an uphill battle - to avert the elimination after devastating losses from day before.
Former world champion Antoaneta Stefanova from Bulgaria and Georgian Bela Khotenashvili were also looking to make comebacks.
All eight games were hard-fought and the play continued beyond the first time control.
Anna Muzychuk was the first to qualify for the Quarterfinals by beating Lela Javakhishvili as Black. The Georgian misplayed an exchange in the middlegame, after which her position deteriorated until the point where she had to give up a rook for a piece. Muzychuk converted the advantage and won the match by 1,5-0,5.
The journalists were expecting the players in the media room, but the Chief of the FIDE Medical Commission is of higher rank and the players were first taken to anti-doping control.
Anna Muzychuk returned later and said that she "was lucky to get an opening advantage playing Black". She added that this is her most successful championship so far, since on previous three occasions she was eliminated by round two.
Alexandra Kosteniuk warmed the hearts of the Russian fans by winning a model game against Harika Dronavalli to even up the score and take on a chance in tie-break.
As she said in an interview, the most difficult part of the preparation was to choose the opening. She finally picked the ultra-flexible Black Knights' Tango, where white couldn't just force simplification. Black got slight advantage from the opening and kept pressing until white position collapsed.
Kosteniuk said: "I could not relax until the very end of the game. It started to feel better only when I saw the forced mate."
The rating favorite Humpy Koneru (India) defeated Alisa Galliamova (Russia) for the second time. This is Koneru's sixth win from six games in Sochi.
The Indian didn't follow the "chess etiquette" mentioned earlier by Galliamova - offering a draw in a better/winning position when you are content with a draw. Friends are friends, but sport is sport. (Zhao Xue did a similar thing, see below) Koneru won a pawn and proceeded to convert the advantage in the rook ending.
The younger sister Muzychuk, Mariya, also advanced to the next round. The ex-world champion Antoaneta Stefanova tried everything to even up the score, but after the exchange of the queens the position suddenly simplified, and only white could claim a small advantage.