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My crown, please! Thrilling chess finale sees Anna Ushenina win the world championship in Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
02 December 2012

The 27 year old Ukrainian beat Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria in a tie-break to secure the title in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Chess Queen: 27 years old Anna Ushenina hours before the victory. Picture: chess-news.ru  

Earlier the Bulgarian had fought back to make it 2-2 in the four game final. The contest has seen the Siberia city praised for its role as host to the prestigious international tournament, and it boosts Khanty-Mansiysk's claim to be a major centre of chess.

'The match was very interesting, but we were clearly tired and made many mistakes,' said Anna after her victory.

'In the third and fourth games we exchanged blows: first I took the lead, then Antoaneta equalized the score. 

'In the first tie-break game White stood better, but I held a draw. In the second game Black was slightly worse, but Antoaneta was very short on time, defended inaccurately and gave me a chance to win.'

Kirsan Ilyumzhnov, of behalf of the FIDE Presidential Board, told her: 'I would like to congratulate you with this well-deserved win. The final match was very exciting. You played well during the whole tournament and justly became the 14th World Champion.'

He stressed: 'I often say that women show a model example of fighting spirit. They always fight until the end, and watching their games is always enjoyable. The percentage of decisive games in women's competitions is higher than in men's chess. This championship was exciting from the first day, and there were many dramatic games.

'Many favourites of this championship, including former World Champion Hou Yifan, Humpy Koneru, Anna Muzychuk and other high-rated players, were unable to show their potential, probably due to sub-optimal form. On the other hand, both Antoaneta Stefanova and Anna Ushenina proved that they really have the champion's character! It was a true battle of wills.'

Anna said that she had not set targets when she went into the championship.

'I did not set any goals. I just wanted to play well'.

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