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World Women's Chess: Kosteniuk is champion

September 17, 2008 23:21 IST

Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk ended a 44-year-old drought for Russia by clinching the World Women's Chess Championship after playing out a draw with Yifan Hao of China in the fourth game of the finals that concluded in Nalchik (Russia).

This was Kosteniuk's third draw on the trot and she was in fact winning on two occasion in the final game but opted for the safer route to ensure her maiden world championship title.

The experience proved to be the key factor in the finals as Kosteniuk was already a finalist in 2000, when Yifan was just six years old.

The victory for Koeteniuk brings $ 60, 000 in addition to a superb crown embedded with diamonds and sapphires.

The Russian brought back the title to the country after a gap of 44 years. Elisabeth Bykova was the last Russian winner of the crown from 1958 to 1962.

The Chinese domination in the women's chess ended with Kosteniuk's victory. Xu Yuhua was the last winner of the crown and she was eliminated in round two this year.

The Indian challenge in the championship had ended with the ouster of Koneru Humpy in the semifinals at the hands of Yifan.

The championship was a knockout event that started with 64 players  11 of whom reported absent mainly due to tension along the Russian-Georgian border. The prize pool of $ 450, 000 was shared between the contestants at different levels depending upon the success.

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