Another year goes by, and there is yet another women's world chess champion. There have been nine champions during this millennium - or eight, if one counts Hou Yifan's different reigns, of which there is likely to be a third starting late this fall. But let's give credit to the women who were in the arena in Sochi, and in particular to the one who came out the winner: Ukraine's Mariya Muzychuk. Her opponent, Natalia Pogonina, needed to win today to force tiebreaks, and while she took every chance and every reasonable risk she could, Muzychuk managed to keep control pretty much from start to finish. If anything, Muzychuk missed various chances to gain more, but as a draw was sufficient she preferred control to the pursuit of the full point.
So congratulations to the winner, who is the second straight Ukranian to win the knockout title. For her sake, hopefully she will fare better than her predecessor (Anna Ushenina) when she faces Hou Yifan in a title match later this year.