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Youth wins!
September 10, 2008

Strange things are taking place in this Championship: the closer the denouement, the faster the players who "remained alive" try to reach the target. If in the first round we had a chance to observe a sudden death game, the second round ended in a blitz whereas the third one - in rapid games, there was no a tie break whatsoever in the quarter final. The semi-finals are most likely to follow the same pattern, so confident and convincing are Kosteniuk and Hou Yifan's victories.

As Alexandra said after the match at the press-conference she didn't differentiate her games in Nalchik: she takes all her matches seriously. How strong and highly motivated her desire is! The Caucasian Mountains seem to yield under the pressure of this girl with glaring gaze. Sasha had a year break (she gave birth to a child) and it was rather hard for her to return, but the return was something special.  The Russian team that Kosteniuk headed became the Champion of the European Chess Championship for the first time in its history in November. This year in July Sasha quite easily won the World Champion title in Fisher chess without having left a chance to her opponents. She seems to be intending to unite all women chess titles in her hands. Will Pia Cramling be able to stop her?

Judging by the first game the answer is No. The Swede chose a French  defense for the first time to play against Kosteniuk but she was mistaken. As it turned out Sasha has played this rare variant in blitz matches more than once. Very soon she made an experienced Cramling defend and then making several short but efficient moves surrender. The  clock showed just 6 o'clock.         

The match at the neighboring table wasn't long either. Half of the moves made by Koneru were unsuccessful attempts to get out of the desperate situation without a figure. But her 14 year old contender was implacable. A shy, easily amused Chinese girl beat a seemingly unassailable Indian chess goddess. Before the match the majority of chess professionals showed preferences for Humpy: she possesses a great experience and a huge chess strength she demonstrated repeatedly in Nalchik. A real Koneru serious and even-tempered was playing the first part of the game in her usual manner but out of the blue things changed greatly. Having captured a "poisoned pawn"  it was Koneru's wan shadow that finished the game.

She was struck by what had happened so much that she kept sitting at the table 5 minutes after the end of the match as if trying to scroll the nightmare again and again.  Will Humpy be able to recover and give her young opponent a firm rebuff, she is 21 herself though? Everything depends on her. And on Hou Yifan who got the perspective of beating an "eternal"  record of Maia Chiburdanidze who became a World Champion at the age of 17. 

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Round 5, game 1.
More news:
September 19, 2008
Beautiful Closing Ceremony
September 17, 2008
Sergey SHIPOV , grandmaster. The Round Sixth Review
September 17, 2008
Work of the Press Center
September 17, 2008
Alexandra Kosteniuk is the new Queen of the women chess
September 16, 2008
Sergey SHIPOV , grandmaster. The Round Sixth Review



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