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Inna Gaponenko: "Koneru ruined my strategy, so I had to improvise"
IMG 2163The Ukrainian player came to the press-center after eliminating her childhood friend.

Anastasia Karlovich: Please let me introduce our next guest – Inna Gaponenko from Ukraine. She just won a very hard-fought game against her compatriot Natalia Zhukova. How did you make it happen, Inna?

Inna Gaponenko: Hello everybody. Playing against Natalia was very hard, of course. When I first saw the pairings for the championship, I was very upset. Natasha is not only my longtime friend, she is also a godmother of my children. Long before the official pairings were published we simulated it ourselves, and it looked like we shouldn't clash. However, a single replacement in the lineup totally rearranged the pairings, and we were forced to play each other.

Olga Girya will learn from her past mistakes
Olga GiryaThe Chess Olympiad champion with the Russian team Olga Girya talks about her first round match with Ekaterina Atalik and discusses the right and wrong ways of spending the day off.

Anastasia Karlovich: Good evening. Our next guest is Olga Girya – the Russian player who defeated Ekaterina Atalik from Turkey with the perfect score and advances to the next round. Our congratulations! Here is my first question: please tell us about the course of the match. It was not easy at all, as far as I understand.

Olga Girya: Yesterday I got a big advantage already in the opening, but later my opponent found the right moment to sacrifice a queen for two pieces, making my technical task rather complicated. It prolonged the game for quite a while, and in the end everything was decided by a lucky tactical shot.

The second games of the first round were played at the Women's World Chess Championship in Sochi
Shen Yang - KashlinskayaThe second games of the first round were played at the CS Galactica (Sochi, Krasnaya Polyana) on March 18.

The top seed players of the event Humpy Koneru (India), Ju Wenjun (China), Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine), Victoria Cmilyte (Lithuania), Alexandra Kosteniuk, and Valentina Gunina (both – Russia) won their matches and advanced to the second round.

They are joined by Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria), Bela Khotenashvili (Georgia), Pia Cramling (Sweden), Harika Dronavalli (India), Tan Zhongyi (China), Anna Ushenina (Ukraine), Marie Sebag (France), Irina Krush (USA), Olga Girya, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, Natalia Pogonina (all – Russia), and Lei Tingjie (China).

Shrook Wafa: It was such a great experience playing against much stronger opponent
Shrook WafaWafa Shook, the young chess player from Egypt, who lost her first round match to one of the strongest players from China, answered the questions at the press-center.

Anastasya Karlovich: Welcome to the Press center of the Women’s World Chess Championship. We are having our new guest Shrook Wafa of Egypt, a chess player from the African Continent. So, my first question is: how did you qualify for the Women’s World Chess Championship?

Shrook Wafa: I was qualified to this championship by taking the first place in the African Women’s Continental Chess Championship 2013.

Anastasya Karlovich: Who were your rivals during that championship? And how many players participated in that Continental event?

Shrook Wafa: My strongest opponents were from my country, Algeria and South Africa. These are the strongest chess countries in Africa. As for the number of participants, I don’t remember exactly, I think about 20-25 players.

Beauty, inspiration, intelligence, and Queen's Gambit
IMG 3760

The long-awaited Women's World Championship started in Krasnaya Polyana. The location suits the event ideally – fresh air, mountains, spa-centers, and swimming pools provide excellent options for regaining energy after hard-fought games, and the beauty of sights is very inspiring.

As the RCF President Andrey Filatov mentioned at the press-conference, Sochi gathered not only the smartest, but also the most beautiful players, and it is indeed hard to argue about it. All the participants are colorful personalities who prove on a daily basis that there is no contradiction between beauty and intelligence.

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