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Natalia Pogonina: I look forward with curiosity
 MG 4430Grandmaster from Saratov became the second Russian player who managed to come back following yesterday's disaster. She got a nearly winning position and more than an hour lead on the clock against Marie Sebag, but the fate of the game was once again decided in a rook ending...

Anastasia Karlovich: Natalia, how difficult was the first game of your match and what happened today?

Natalia Pogonina: Yesterday I played the opening poorly and soon got a lost position. Marie could win a few times, once could execute a strong tactical blow. She played well for a while despite the time trouble, but then made a couple of mistakes, and the position turned sharp. I could equalize, but didn't find the right way. In the arisen endgame I was a pawn down, but had good drawing chances. Then she missed a forced win, and the position became objectively drawn. However, I failed to hold it, having an easy draw even a couple of moves before resignation. In short, in was a long game and I lost.

Alexandra Kosteniuk: Choosing the opening was the hardest part
IMG 5401Today the ex-World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk did the most difficult thing in chess – won a game on demand with black pieces. From opening to ending it was a perfect example of how one should approach such key games. After the game Alexandra answered questions from the journalists at the media center.

Anastasia Karlovich: Alexandra, how hard it was for you to recover mentally after the loss and tie the score today?

Alexandra Kosteniuk: Choosing the opening was probably the hardest part. We spent a lot of time on it. It seems Black cannot win by force anywhere, I can tell you for sure now (smiles).

The second games of the third round finished in Sochi
IMG 4911The return games of the third round matches of the Women's World Chess Championship were played in SCC Galactica (Sochi, Krasnaya Polyana).

Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine) became the first Quarterfinalist by beating Lela Javakhishvili (Georgia) as Black. Today the Georgian misplayed early in the middlegame, initiating an exchange of queens in highly unfavorable circumstances. She almost immediately lost a pawn and then, shortly, an exchange. Anna Muzychuk converted her advantage easily and won the match.

Asia hits hard
R3 01 coverA high-octane chess early in the third round: six decisive games out of eight! The Russians were the main victims of the battle, losing all four games, joined by Antoaneta Stefanova and Bela Khotenashvili.

Grandmaster Sergey Shipov, whose voice is so familiar by now for the Russian-speaking chess fans, shared with us his view on the key moments of the day.

“A very interesting day due to the impressive percentage of wins. I enjoyed the exciting games, but cannot shake off negative emotions following four Russian losses. What an unexpected disaster! Yet I have to admit their losses were deserving.

Pia Cramling: I love to play chess so much
IMG 4843Pia Cramling from Sweden defeated the reigning Russian champion Valentina Gunina in the first game of the third round. Cramling arrived to the media room to analyse the game and speak about her love for chess.

Anastasia Karlovich: Dear ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the press center. We are having Pia Cramling as our guest. Pia has just won the game against Russian player Valentina Gunina. But I would like to ask you about your first matches in this championship. They were really tough I believe.

Pia Cramling: Yes, in the first game of the first match I have got a good advantage. That game was more or less fine. But in the second game everything went wrong from the very beginning. I was completely lost. But then all of a sudden we were equal, but I blundered again. This was the moment when I was very upset. Because when I made a blunder, she could have won in one move. Good for me that she did not see it. So I was lucky in the second game of that match.

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