In the battle of former Women’s World Champions, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk defeated GM Antoaneta Stefanova in the second round of 16 match of the Women’s Speed Chess Championship by a score of 15.5-10.5.
Alexandra was quicker and more collected in most of the time-scrambles and deservedly punched her ticket to the quarterfinals.
Kosteniuk took a slow start in the first 5+1 segment of the match, falling behind, but then picked up momentum and scored three straight wins to secure a two-point lead heading into the next stage.
The 3+1 stage saw Kosteniuk stretch her lead to six points, getting the upper hand in the most chaotic, time-pressure situations.
Somewhat surprisingly, Stefanova won the final, the fastest 1+1 segment of the match but did not manage to overcome a huge point deficit.
“It was a very long match, and I find it difficult to keep the same level of concentration throughout the match. I was already tired after the first stage, so it is quite difficult to analyze right now. I need some time to rest and then I can go over the games. Of course, I am happy to win,” said Alexandra in a short interview with GM Irina Krush and Jennifer Shahade after the match.