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On the first day of theWomen's World Championship's semi-finals GM Pia Cramling defeated WGM Natalija Pogonina, who needs a win tomorrow to stay in the tournament. IM Mariya Muzychuk and GM Harika Dronavalli drew their game.
“I like to walk a lot. And I like to read. I find time for these two things,” said GM Pia Cramling in an interview with Nastja Karlovich, published yesterday on the tournament website.
After a long career as a top female chess player, which includes a third place in a world championship, she is suddenly a draw away from playing a final.
Today Cramling scored a very classical win, converting a slightly better rook ending from one of the oldest openings, the Lasker Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined. White's edge was minimal; it basically consisted of controlling the only open file.
Pogonina decided to wait, and played Kd7-d8-d7 for fifteen (!) moves in a row. Meanwhile Cramling traded a few pawns so that she could activate her king. It looks like Pogonina chose a wrong trade after which the ending was winning for White.