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Alexandra Kosteniuk is the 2021 Women’s World Rapid Champion

Alexandra Kosteniuk is the undefeated 2021 Women’s World Rapid Champion, followed by the 17-year-old Bibisara Assaubayeva, and the Russian GM Valentina Gunina.

Photo: Michal Walusza, Anna Shtourman, Lennart Ootes, Mark Livshitz (FIDE)

The 2021 Women’s Rapid Championship had no tiebreak drama nor last-minute tension for the winner like the Open Rapid Championship, but it was equally exciting. GM Alexandra Kosteniuk entered the final day with a 1.5 point lead, and in such great shape that nobody could challenge her victory.

Another 17-year-old prodigy Bibisara Assaubayeva from Kazakhstan made an impression in the tournament with her amazing performance. The young IM not only came second but also drew against Kosteniuk in the critical second game of the final day, which could change the root of the tournament. This draw gave Kateryna Lagno the opportunity to win against Kosteniuk in the final round and move to the playoffs, but this didn’t happen eventually.

After her win, Kosteniuk confidently said: “I haven’t lost a single game throughout the tournament, and of course, it helps a lot. When you lose, you have to find the balance, fight back. I was lucky not to lose any.”

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