Former Women’s World Champion and GM Antoaneta Stefanova won the second qualifier of the FIDE Chess.com 2022 Women’s Speed Chess Championship. She defeated WIM Mobina Alinasab in an incredibly hard-fought final match. IM Karina Ambartsumova won the Swiss tournament on the previous day.
101 players competed in this second and last qualifier event, which was open to all women with FIDE titles. The WSCC round of 16 begins on Monday, June 13.
Ambartsumova was the top finisher, tying with Alinasab with 10 points, and edging out first by tiebreaks. Can you find the tactic Ambartsumova played to win her opponent’s queen in round two?
Interestingly, although players were allowed to play in both qualifiers, eight fresh faces advanced to the knockout phase.
Stefanova fought through many tough games and obstacles to become victorious. Her final match vs. Alinasab was especially a neck-and-neck race from beginning to end. For much of the match, the players exchanged the lead with back and forth victories. In round seven, Alinasab took the lead with precise play in a queen and bishop ending.
In round 10, Stefanova fought back with active piece play, squeezing her opponent off the board and tying the score at five.
From there, the score remained tied up to 6.5 each, making it an all-or-nothing double match point game. Stefanova came through under pressure, discovering a win in an even rook ending to seal the match.
In her interview, Stefanova shared about the long journey it’s been to securing her qualification spot: “Well, it’s a long story. As you can see I’m in a hotel, and also my internet has been so bad. In the two qualifiers, I lost games from it. I lost two games by forfeit because I disconnected while the pairings were being made. So, by one disconnection, I lost two points immediately. It was crazy! I’m playing the Women’s League as well in Germany, and it has been a very exhausting event.”
All Games – Qualifier 2 Knockout
Women’s Speed Chess Championship 2022 Bracket
The FIDE Chess.com 2022 Women’s Speed Chess Championship is an online event where titled women players will play a series of blitz and bullet matches for a share of the $70,000 prize fund. The qualifiers for the event took place on May 24-27, with the main event starting on June 13 and ending on July 21.