- The Washington Times - Friday, March 3, 2017

Continuing a long string of dominance by China’s women, WGM Tan Zhongyi defeated Ukrainian GM Anna Muzychuk in the final match to claim the FIDE women’s world chess championship knockout tournament in Tehran Friday.

The upset win makes Tan the fifth Chinese woman to hold the women’s title since GM Xie Jun ended a long period of Russian and Georgian dominance by taking the title in 1991. Tan entered the knockout tournament seeded ninth, while Muzychuk was seeded second.

Chinese GM Hou Yifan, the highest rated woman in the world, declined to defend her title in the Tehran event, and many top international players, including U.S. No. 1 GM Irina Krush, also declined to play in an event that sparked controversy after the organizers required the female contestants to cover their heads during games.

The 64-player event consisted of a series of two-game knockout matches at classical time controls, capped by a four-game final between Tan and Muzychuk.

The two finalists deadlocked at 2-2 and drew the first game of their two-game rapid playoff. Play was even in the second rapid game until Muzychuk made a terrible oversight (38…b4??, when moves like 38…Qd3 or 38…Qe6 would have kept the balance) that led to an instant mating attack.

In the final position, Black has no defense to 43. g5+ Rxg5 44. hxg5 mate and resigned.

Tan-Muzychuk, FIDE Women’s World Championship finals, Tehran, March 2017

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 dxc4 7. Nxf5 exf5 8. e3 Nbd7 9. Bxc4 Nb6 10. Be2 Bd6 11. Bf3 O-O 12. O-O Re8 13. Qc2 Qd7 14. b3 Re7 15. Na4 Rae8 16. Nc5 Qc8 17. Bd2 Nbd5 18. Rac1 Ne4 19. Bg2 g6 20. b4 Qc7 21. Nxe4 fxe4 22. b5 Ba3 23. Rb1 cxb5 24. Qb3 Qd6 25. Qxb5 Rc8 26. Qb3 Kg7 27. Bc1 Bxc1 28. Rbxc1 Rc6 29. Rxc6 Qxc6 30. Qa3 Qb6 31. Rc1 Qb4 32. Qxa7 Nc3 33. Rf1 Qc4 34. Qa3 Re6 35. Re1 Ra6 36. Qe7 Rxa2 37. Bxe4 b5 38. Bf3 b4 39. Qe5+ Kh6 40. g4 f6 41. Qxf6 Ra5 42. h4 Black resigns


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