13 Nov 2012, Kuala Lumpur – Chessvibes reported that The Women's World Championship 2012 started last Sunday, 11 November 2012, in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. On Saturday, 10 th November 2012, the opening ceremony took place, and while Chess Vibes’s report was preparing the report, the first round is under way. Hou Yifan of China is defending her title in a 64-player knockout tournament.
The Women’s World Chess Championship 2012 is the conclusion of the current Women's World Championship cycle. Unlike their male colleagues, the women have a World Championship that's supposed to take place every year. Qualifying events are national championships, zonal tournaments, continental championships, Women’s Grand Prix tournaments and the previous World Championship.
The World Championship is a match (10 games, 2 players) in odd years (2011, 2013, etc.) and a knockout tournament (64 players) in even years (2012, 2014 etc.). The Chinese Hou Yifan defended her title successfully last year in a match against Humpy Koneru of India, and this time she will need to beat six players in 2-game matches and possible tie-breaks to do the same.
The tie-breaks are a bit different from what we're used to at World Cup tournaments, where two rapid games and up to ten blitz games are played before there's an all-decisive sudden-death game. The women play two rapid games (25 minutes + 10 seconds increment), two blitz games (10 minutes + 10 seconds increment), two faster blitz games (5 minutes + 3 seconds increment) and then the sudden-death (5 vs 4 + 3 seconds, increment frome move 61, draw odds for Black).
The pairings are done following the principle of top half vs. lower half reversed (1-64, 2-63...). Thus the highest ranked player of the top half plays the lowest ranked player of the bottom half. If the lower ranked player wins in any match, she shall automatically take the position of the higher ranked player for the next round.
For rounds 1-5 every match consists of two classical games and a possible tie-break. In the final there will be four classical games instead of two.
Here is a round 1 game of the World Championship Women World Cup 2012 in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia between Marie Sebag of France and Irina Berezina of Australia. Marie Sebag won with the white pieces.
Official website: http://chess2012.ugrasport.com