Evenly matched as the two players are, you would have thought Galliamova needed to carry a lead from the first half on "her territory", to have reasonable chances of victory.
Instead they left Russia at four all and Xie Jun immediately regained the lead, which she had taken in games two and five, with a further victory with the Black pieces. This time, however, Galliamova could not, as on the two previous occasions, respond immediately - getting nothing from the opening against Xie's Sicilian Scheveningen in game 10, which ended as a fairly turgid draw.
The Russian's situation worsened further in the following game, in which she again lost with White - incidentally increasing the White pieces' lead to 4-2. So with just five games remaining, two up and on her home soil, the former champion, the 28-year-old Xie Jun, looked heavy favourite, though Galliamova did win game 12.
This grim game at the start of the second leg in Shenyang must have done much to break Galliamova's spirit. In the diagram 35 Bd5! and if Ra6 36 Bc6 would have won the exchange, while 40 Bc5 Rc2 41 Be3 led to dead equality and 42 Bc5 is also fine. Instead her king got harassed by the rook and knight; she succumbed slowly and painfully.
(White to play)
vs Xie Jun
Shenyang 1999, game 9
England's Michael Adams is unfortunately eliminated from the Fide World Championship after losing again to Vladimir Adopian (Armenia) who won 2.5-0.5. Meanwhile Khalifman leads Nisipeanu 2-1.Reuse content