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She who does not risk, is not Gunina
IMG 3661The solar eclipse day brought us a rare event in women's chess – 11 games out of 16 ended in draws. Cautious play? Not at all, it's just the players are more evenly matched at this stage of the tournament.

Grandmaster Ilya Smirin, the Russian-language commentator of the official broadcast, talks about the first games of the 2nd Round.

– I think the quality of the games today was much higher than in the first round. First of all, the remaining players are stronger on average. Second, the participants are getting warmed up and are less nervous, as some of them have already achieved their minimal task. All these helped to produce some very good games.

Monika Socko and drama in the first round
IMG 2520The grandmaster from Poland advanced to the second round of the World Championship almost by a miracle – however, after that miracle she still had to win two more games!

In the first game of the second round Monika made a draw as Black with Mariya Muzychuk and visited the press-center to tell the journalists about the match against Daimante Daulyte.

Anastasia Karlovich: Our next guest in Monika Socko from Poland. Monika, can you tell us about your dramatic tie-break?

Monika Socko: I had a big advantage in the first rapid game but I lost it and had to win in order to equalize the score. However, in the second game it was hard to find wining chances and I got lost position. My opponent could have checkmated me in one move but blundered her queen instead. I was very lucky! Well, after that crazy finale of the second game my opponent surely realized that she missed a mate in one, and of course it was very hard for her to play as if nothing had happened. And I wasn't nervous at all and played two good and calm games and won the match.

Alexandra Kosteniuk: Hope to play many matches here
 MG 3724The former World Champion Alexnadra Kosteniuk made perhaps the most beautiful move of the fourth day of the championship, which gave her a victory as Black over Shen Yang. After the game Alexandra shared her impressions with the journalists at the press center.

Anastasia Karlovich: Welcome to the press center! Our next guest in Alexandra Kosteniuk. Alexandra, in the first round you defeated Irina Berezina. I know it was long time ago, but let us start from it...

Alexandra Kosteniuk: I won the first game relatively easy, obtaining a winning position already by the move 13. Naturally, it is easier to play the second game when you are in the lead. The game turned a lot more interesting. I played logically up to a certain point, and could even win, according to the computer, but my next sensible-looking move was a mistake. My opponent could make me suffer by sacrificing a piece, but she also missed it. The subsequent game was very sharp, and I won in the mutual time trouble.

The second round of the Women's World Championship started in Sochi
IMG 245632 participants of the Women's World Chess Championship returned today to the SCC Galactica (Sochi, Krasnaya Polyana) to play the first games of the second round.

In the Russian clash between Valentina Gunina and Olga Girya a quiet opening turned into wild complications after White initiated a risky kingside expansion. Soon Gunina sacrificed a piece, playing in style of Mikhail Tal – her sacrifice might have been unsound, but was very enterprising and led to a very sharp game. Girya did not find the correct response, and Gunina developed a winning attack.

Natalia Pogonina is always happy
IMG 2490In a brief interview after the first game of the second round grandmaster Natalia Pogonina revealed her positive attitude towards sporting results and shared her thoughts about players from China.

Anastasia Karlovich: Dear friends, our first guest is the Russian grandmaster Natalia Pogonina, who just finished her game, making a draw with the Chinese player Ju Wenjun. In the first round Natalia also faced a player from China. Natalia, could you please tell us about that match?

Natalia Pogonina: That's right, in the first round I played with Guo Qi, who is the World U20 Champion. It was a very interesting match, both games lasted for more than four hours, and we made more than 60 moves in each. In the first game I had an advantage, put a lot of pressure, but it ended in a draw.

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