Two matches, two tiebreaks. The participants in the women's world championship will not enjoy a day off today/tomorrow (Tuesday), as Natalia Pogonina managed to come back from an opening defeat in her third straight match, while Harika Dronavalli and Mariya Muzychuk drew their second straight game.
Pogonina was in a must-win situation against Pia Cramling, and surprisingly Cramling helped her by playing a very sharp and provocative line of the Sicilian. Black's position was already difficult, but Cramling's 20th and 21st moves were practically suicidal. 20...Rc8 created tactical problems involving a possible Nd6, while 21...Qd8 guaranteed a swap of the dark-squared bishops. This exchange was massively in White's favor, and the rest of the game was just a demolition job. Pogonina's last move, 38.Nd7+, was a nice finishing touch, and now she has the psychological momentum going into the rapid tiebreaks.
It's harder to say who has the psychological upper hand in the other match, if anyone. Harika was the one pressing and could enjoy an extra pawn in a rook and four vs. rook and three ending, but Muzychuk was never in trouble. The game was a long one, but not an especially difficult one for the defender.
So we wait: there will be more chess before the finalists are determined.