Only 16 out of 64 participants are remaining in contention for the title of the Women’s World Champion. In the first game of the third round Nana Dzagnidze, Anna Muzychuk and Antoante Stefanova defeated their opponents, while five other games finished in a draw.
In a Slav Exchange Variation Shen Yang didn`t find the right way to neutralize pressure of Nana Dzagnidze and found herself in an unpleasant position. Her attempt to sacrifice a pawn in order to get conter play was refuted by Nana’s nice tactical blow 25...Ng7!
In a complicated position, which appeared after original opening move order, Nino Khurtsidze was in trouble and could have lost her game after force variaton starting with 27. Nf6 Kf6 28. h4.
Antoaneta Stefanova transferred the game into the ending Knight & Bishop vs Rook.
It was not clear how Antoaneta will break through but by playing 51...Re6 Nino Khurtsidze missed nice idea 52.Bd4! threatening Nh6 mate. As a result Georgian player had to give up a pawn on e6 and later on former World Champion confidently mated Black’s king with knight and bishop.
After Anna Muzychuk grabbed a pawn on d4 on move 23, she didn’t leave any chance to her opponent Pham Le Thao Nguyen to survive. After victory with Black pieces it seems Anna has the best chances to proceed to the next round.
Game Kosteniuk-Cramling left the spectators in a slight disappointment because a draw was agreed in a slightly better position for Black. Perhaps Pia decided not to take any additional risk and will try to press with White pieces tomorrow.
The second game of the third round of the FIDE Women’s World Championship starts at 3 p.m. local time on 18th of February.