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Chinese Wins Women’s Chess Title, First Non-Soviet In 64 Years

October 29, 1991

MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Xie Jun of China today became the first non-Soviet women’s chess champion in 64 years when she beat the Maya Chiburdanidze, who had held the title since 1978.

Miss Xie captured the World Women’s Chess Championship with a draw in Game 15.That allowed the 20-year-old challenger from Beijing to gain the eight and one-half points needed to unseat the 31-year-old veteran from Soviet Georgia.

After Miss Xie made her 62nd move, Miss Chiburdanidze stood up and shook her hand. The playing hall broke into a round of applause.

Asked to comment, Miss Xie said that she was tired but pleased.

″I’m very, very happy,″ she said. ″I was confident of having a good game today. This victory means a grand celebration for my birthday,″ which is Wednesday.

Miss Xie’s coach, Qi Jing Xuan, said he was relieved.

″The situation was tense throughout,″ he told reporters. ″Miss Xie struggled to get the precious draw.″

Miss Chiburdanidze smiled, but did not comment.

English grandmaster Anthony Miles said the match was ″hard fought,″ and Florencio Campomanes, president of the International Chess Federation, said ″the Chinese girl defended herself very well.″

Both players had equal opportunities for attack but each showed nervousness by missing attacking lines. Miss Xie missed scoring a winning line on the 51st move and had to be satisfied with a draw.

The 16-match championship began on Sept. 26.

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