The tie-break of the Women's World Chess Championship Semifinal was played in the Espinas Palace Hotel on 25th of February.
The match Harika Dronavalli – Tan Zhongyi continued with quicker time controls following 1-1 score after the first two classical games.
After Harika’s quick victory in the first rapid game, it was hard to imagine that Zhongyi will manage to equalize the score but that’s what actually happened.
Today’s tiebreak has proved once again that it’s possible to lose any position when your opponent is in a must-win situation. Playing with White Tan Zhongyi slowly won the ending which seemed completely drawish.
After equalizing the score in rapid, Chinese player also won the first game with 10min+10 sec time control.
After 54...Re7 Black should hold the position, as after 55.Nd3 he has Ng6. Harika Dronavalli chose Qf5 and had to resign after 55.Nd3.
it was Harika’s turn to defeat her opponent in a must-win situation and “no-chance-to-win” ending. After more than 50 moves of play b-pawn was ready to promote and Black had to resign. The score became level once again.
Two blitz games finished in a draw, even though Harika had good chances to score in both of them. The match was not decided and the players reached Armageddon game.
Tan Zhongyi chose to play with Black pieces, ignoring the fact that White won 6 out of 8 games in this match. This game became the last accord in one of the most dramatic matches of the Championship. Harika had winning position but didn’t find a precise way to defeat her opponent. In the end she lost this game on time. In a post game interview Tan Zhongyi said: “I feel very sorry for my opponent. I think she played good and had really good chances in the blitz games.” For the third time Harika Dronavalli could not go through the semifinal. Same as in Khanty-Mansiysk 2012 and Sochi 2015, she was very close to get into the final stage of the championship.
After the end of the match both players were exhausted (Photo:Anastasiya Karlovych).
Tan Zhongyi and Anna Muzychuk will compete for the chess crown in a 4-game final match with classical time control (90 minutes for 40 moves, then 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with 30 seconds added after each move). The first game will be played on 27th of February.
If the match ends in a tie, the winner will be determined on tie-break on March 3.