Down to Sweet Sixteen in Khanty-Mansiysk

The Women’s World Championship is down to its sweet sixteen in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. This news is not as sweet for American fans, as we no longer have a horse in the race- Grandmaster Irina Krush and 2017 US Women’s Champion Sabina Foisor have both been eliminated. Both can hold their heads high, as Sabina put on a fierce fight against the higher-rated Antoaneta Stefanova. Irina Krush, the #32 seed, beat the #33 seed, IM Inna Gaponenko in a dominant playoff performance. Krush then played a more rested reigning World Champion, Ju Wenjun in round two, and lost 1.5-0.5. Elshan annotated Krush’s second round draw, which eliminated her from the event.

Find annotations to earlier games in reports by Grandmaster Elshan Moradiabadi after round one and after round two, game one. 

GM Ju Wenjun, Find more photos on

Among the players remaining: Former Champs Stefanova, Ju Wenjun, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Mariya Muzychuk. Mariya won her spot into the sweet sixteen with a tiebreak victory over Ekaterina Atalik.

Stefanova also won her match in rapid tiebreak.

Stefanova will play Anna Muzychuk in a titanic round three battle. Anna Muzychuk is the #3 rated female player in the World, and one of the best known as well. She recently gave a TED Talk on life-changing decisions.

18-year-old IM Zhansaya Abdumalik defeated GM Zhao Xue in rapid playoffs to advance to round three. She’ll play IM Jolanta Zawadzka of Poland, who upset GM Humpy Koneru in round two. Iranian Mobina Alinasab, also 18, is so far the sensation of the event. Ranked 55th going into the event, she scored two upsets in a row, over IM Elisabeth Paehtz and GM Monika Socko and plays Mariya Muzychuk in round three.


IM Zhansaya Abdumalik, Find more photos on

Full Round 3 pairings:

Zhai Mo-Ju Wenjun





Galliamova-Lei Tingjie



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