Olga’s Smiling Now!
She’s the Champion!
Born: June 4, 1991 (age 28 years), Langepas, Russia
Going into the Final Round 11, Olga Girya was in First Place, but only .5 points ahead of Natalija Pogonina.
Olga drew in Round 11 and Natalija won, creating a tie for First Place at the end of regulation play.
That set the stage for a playoff!
A tie for First Place is settled by two Rapid Chess playoff games with 15 minutes plus 10 seconds per move for each player.
If the score is still tied after two Rapid Chess games, a 5-minute vs. 4-minute Armageddon sudden death game, where Black has draw odds, decides the winner! (Black having “draw odds” means Black can win the tournament with a win or a draw!)
For Girya, this was a particularly tense event, because she led the whole tournament, only to be caught by Pogonina in the final round of regulation play.
In the Tie-Break format, Girya won the first Rapid Chess game only to be defeated again by Pogonina in the second game, setting the stage for the sudden death Armageddon game.
Then Olga Girya got the White pieces in the sudden death Armageddon game, and in a 67-move game she won her first national title–Russia’s 2019 Women’s Chess Champion!
See Final Standings below.
2019 Women’s World Chess Championship
Born: September 28, 1998 (age 20 years) in Orsk, Russia
Aleksandra did not win Russia’s 2019 Women’s Chess Championship this year–she came in 3rd Place, .5 points behind the leaders, but she made a few clear statements in Round 9, 10 and 11!
Her play spoke for itself.
First, SHE was the only UNDEFEATED player in Russia’s 2019 Women’s Chess Championship!
Second, in Round 9, SHE gave 1st Place Olga Girya her only defeat in a Knight & pawn (for Aleksandra) versus a Bishop & pawn (for Olga) endgame.
Third, SHE–not Olga Girya–is the candidate Challenger for the 2019 Women’s World Chess Championship against China’s World Chess Champion Ju Wenjun.
Olga Girya and Natalija Pogonina tied for 1st Place with 8.0 points, followed by Aleksandra in 3rd Place with 7.5 points.