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The first move has been done, the rest follow.
August 30, 2008

In spite of the disturbing events preceding the Womens World Championship the boycott of the Georgian chess players and refusals of some other participants for reasons of security the tournament in Nalchik has started. After the colorful Opening Ceremony held the day before, the best chess players began the contest.

The President of Kabardino-Balkaria Arsen Kanokov had the honor of making the first move. He confidently moved the white pawn. FIDE President Kirsan Ilymzhinov made the move for the black. Right after that the arbiters started the clocks on the other 29 boards.

44 participants began the battles on the first day of the tournament. Having no opponents, Antoaneta Stefanova, Nguyen, Thi Thanh An, Anna Gasik, Elena Sedina, Claudia Amura, Anna Zatonskih, Svetlana Matveeva had been for an hour watching the games of the others.

The participants of the Championship are incomparable. Some of the chess players are rated high, others lower like some representatives of exotic countries. When they meet at the chess board the result is rather easy to predict. The tournament in Nalchik has not become an exception though not without surprises.

A regular line of ones and zeros was only broken on table No. 13. Natalia Zhukova from the Ukraine unexpectedly lost the game to Katherine Rohonyan, her former compatriot, currently playing for the USA. Katherine Rohonyan who is rarely practicing now rates 150 points less than Natalia Zhukova. In the beginning nobody doubted Natalias winning. Moreover, her opponent got into a time trouble. However, a moments distraction cost her a point. Now Zhukova has to win the game playing with black and then to win the tiebreak.

A kind of surprise was Elisabeth Paehtzs lost to Ilaha Kadimova. She didnt seem to take her German opponent seriously. In a little worse position, she sacrificed a figure for an attack. There were two attacking moves with black after which the German chess player could have stopped the clock - and she did it later.

A lot of games on the last boards with the players almost equally rated ended in a draw. It should be noted that none of them could hardly be called bloodless, the thing that very often takes place in mens tournaments. Men are known to be more inclined to tiebreaks while revealing the strongest.

In any case tomorrows contest will not be less exciting. Dont miss the chance to follow them on the official site www.nalchik2008.fide.com.

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