Alisa Galliamova - Kateryna Lahno
Аlisa: I did not have any special preparation on the Opening, I decided to sacrifice the queen during the game. The position was not clear and I think the move g4 was my decisive mistake.
Kateryna: I decided to accept the queen’s sacrifice and played quickly because I thought I was supposed to play black in this way, I considered this position at the time. In fact there was a very complex position and it was almost impossible to analyze it – three pieces for a queen, I had a pawn but white constantly kept the initiative. Ideally I have to exchange all rooks …I liked the intentions of Alisa Mikhailovna and I still cannot understand whose position was advantageous. Most likely it was simply unclear.
Tatiana Kosintseva – Alexandra Kosteniuk
Tatiana: The game was rather complex – I played the Arkhangelsk variation of the Spanish game. After the rare continuation 13. Ra3, I am not sure that we continued playing according to the theory however black managed to consolidate its position – to move the knight to e6 and the rook to d8. I had some tactical ideas connected with d5. The disadvantage of the rook on a3 is that the knight on b5 is hanging. For instance, after c6 there is no Na3 and one of the white’s ideas in this variation is namely in Na3-Nc2. On the other hand having the rook on a3 the bishop on b3 is protected”.
Alexandra: I played the same game with Karjakin. As a result of it I played d5 and got the exchange down but with compensation. It seemed to me that the compensation was not that bad. In the endgame I was too abrupt with the move f4 that leads to a draw.
Koneru Humpy – Hou Yifan
Yifan: Humpy’s position was rather strong, he knight on d4 is very strong. I was in time-trouble and I made a few mistakes. I made the repetitions two times and I was ready for a draw at that moment, however after b5 I felt that my position became more complicated. I can lose a pawn on b5 but I managed to receive some compensation. I think her move 36.h3 is a mistake, she should have played 36.g3 instead.
Humpy: after the opening it was rather complicated but I had feeling I’ve got a little advantage. After correct 36.h3 I should have good position as well. It was not difficult for me to play against my opponent in the first round - in any case we would have met at the board at this tournament.
Anna Muzychuk - Ekaterina Kovalevskaya
Ekaterina: It is hard to determine when the theoretical part of this game was over, however, I tend to think over every position and I think that my coach is still going crazy about this fact, but, unfortunately, it is a normal phenomenon for me. I expected Anna to play a more decisive variation. I think that at one moment the position was very close to be equal but I was in time-trouble and it was rather difficult to use it correctly. I was rather surprised by my move King f7 and I paid for taking too much time to think over my move. Of course, I was happy that Anya gave me an opportunity to get off the position easily and I am satisfied with the result.
Anna: I managed to get a very good position with a very big time advantage.
Elina Danielian – Nadezhda Kosintseva
Nadezhda: we developed the Caro-Kann Defense and I applied a new idea having exchanged two white bishops hoping to take the initiative on the kingside, however as a resulted of it I did not manage to conquer the initiative and lost the flow of the game. Then I got into time-trouble and I decided to make the position more complex and played c4 that resulted in the unclear position. I did not have much time and at one moment Elina blundered and I was left with one extra piece which I could not convert to a full point. I think that this endgame was supposed to be won, but I gave the possibility to exchange pawns very quickly.
Elina: The middle game was rather tense and the game was turned into an interesting one. After с4 I made a very aggressive move сd4, however I could play differently by choosing more calm continuation knight е7, but I did not consider it interesting. I decided to win the advantage by quality, I think that after this white had a very good compensation. Further I managed to exchange knight for two white pawns and after this move I thought to have an advantage. I guess that Queen h6 move was the reason for my troubles, I should have played rook e8 with the idea f4. In fact this is the moment when the position of black was supposed to be nearly winning one. Instead of 32.f4 I should have exchanged queens, but I blundered and got to the endgame without a piece for two pawns, however I managed to keep it.
Antoaneta Stefanova –Ruan Lufei
Anastasia: The position looked like a draw from the beginning, would you agree for a draw if you had a chance to offer it directly to the opponent?
Antoaneta: I do not think it was really the case. Everything seemed to lead to a draw from the first move if we think like that but I think as the game showed white had some possibilities for the advantage, so, I would not say that due to the rules here we did not make a draw or something like this.
It should be completely winning for me in the endgame. My main aim was not to blunder any piece and of course at the end I did blunder, so.. My mistake was when I allowed her to take on h4. I completely forgot that Knight g6 cannot be taken because it’s a draw. I think the previous mistake was to move my king to f8 because there is no need to have the king there. I should have placed my king on e7 and there would not have been the idea for stalemate. Actually that was my original idea but then my hand made the move for me.
Lufei: My aim was to equalize the game and I thought it might be slightly worse but I had chances to fight for the draw. I moved my knight far from King’s side but at that time I thought it would be a draw any way, maybe it was my mistake.