The Quarterfinals of the Women's World Championship started in the Espinas Palace Hotel in Tehran on February 20.
Eight players continue their quest for the chess crown – two former World Champions Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) and Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria), three Chinese players Ju Wenjun, Tan Zhongyi and Ni Shiqun, Harika Dronavalli (India), Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine), Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia).
They are to play short two-game matches with the classical time control. If the match is tied 1-1, it is continued on the tie-break with quicker time controls.
There were two decisive games at the first day of round 4. Anna Muzychuk outplayed Antoaneta Stefanova and Harika Dronavalli defeated Nana Dzagnidze.
Rating favorites of the matches Alexandra Kosteniuk and Ju Wenjun held their opponents for a draw and will obviously try to press with White pieces tomorrow.
In a Chinese derby playing white Tan Zhongyi transferred the game into the ending which turned to be better for white. There were few moments in the game were Tan Zhongyi was about to win but Ju Wenjun was finding good defensive resources.
Anna Muzychuk tried to surprised Antoaneta Stefanova in a Breyer System in Ruy Lopez with a rare move 14.Bg5 but failed to get something substantial.
The position after 32.Rb7 is rich with tactics and in the time trouble Antoaneta chose the most ambitious line but didn’t play precisely.
After 32...Nh3 33.Kf1 the only way to continue the fight was play Nf2!
After 33...Nf4 and 34.d6 Black’s position collapsed in a few moves.
In the game Dronavalli-Dzagnidze players tried to outsmart each other in the opening with the tricky move order but nevertheless it was more or less flawless game until move 39.
In a time trouble playing Black Nana most probably missed that after 39...Bb2 40.Bd3 she has Rc1! with a drawish ending. After 39...gf Black is losing.
The second game of quarterfinals will be played at 3 p.m. local time on 21st of February. Both Antoaneta Stefanova and Nana Dzagnidze will have white pieces and obviously will try to equalize the score tomorrow.