Ekaterina Lahno - Antoanetta Stefanova
: the game Ekaterina Lahno - Antoanetta Stefanova has come to its end. The Ukrainian chess player Ekaterina won with Black. Katya, first question is to you: were you surprised with the opening today?
: we started playing according to no theory very early. I saw some games of Antoanetta where she was playing like this. Though it is rather rare plan, rare opening. I did not face any problems in the opening. It seemed that White did not have many chances. I thought that after e3 I was gaining some initiative and if I play correctly it was difficult for White to defend. I was pressing e pawn, moving my pieces forward. I did not see how White could play better. Perhaps I should have played Ra3 instead of Rb3. After Rb3, c5 White had already worse position. I liked to play with Black today.
: Antoanetta: maybe you should not have exchanged with queens in the opening? Or you could not avoid it?
: Well, I was expecting that if I take c5, maybe Katya takes, queen takes c2, king takes. Then maybe Kc3, e3 somehow. Actually I was not sure to which position I should go. Of course Katya is right that there was nothing special for White but still, I did not expect to lose this position with White. Well, it was very interesting to play after e3. I was thinking to play maybe f4. The truth is that I missed c5. I thought the only move for Black was a5. After c5 it was clearly better for Black. Maybe e4 was my final mistake. After that when the Knight was on e3 and my opponent doubles on D line, I could not move my Knight because there could be Rd1 mate or I am loosing my Bishop on a4. So it was somehow to late to do something. So, to my mind after my last mistake e4 I had to fight for a draw. But I did not play correctly till the end.
Lufei Ruan - Yifan Hou
: The game between two Chinese players is over.. The first question is was it difficult for you to play with each other after the final match and how was the game developing? what were your expectations of the game?
: As for me, I did not have any expectations. The only thing is I just wanted to save the game and not to lose. That is why I chose something that I think is safe, but, actually, since I was worse or at least not better, I was trying to save the game. I was not satisfied with the opening, maybe I made some mistakes, but I am not sure. I must have made a mistake in the consequence...but again I am not sure.
: So, what about you, Yifan, what did you expect today from the game?
: It was better today and I was just playing to see what was going on. As Lufei has just said, I think at some point my position was better: my knight was better than her bishop, but then I had a feeling that after b4 that ending was drawish, however, before that I guess I had made some mistakes.
: Do you mean that you had some chances to win?
: I think I had a slightly better position, but of course it was not easy to develop it. However, I think I can play better.
: Did you recover from the game of yesterday? Are you full of energy again?
: Yesterday I was not playing well and lost very quickly. Today I was simply playing the game.
Alisa Galliamova - Ekaterina Kovalevskaya
: The game Galliamova - Kvalevskaya is finished won by the acting Russian Champion Alisa Galliamova. Please share your comments on the game development and at what moment did you feel that your position was better, Alisa.
: I think that I had a better posiiton already in the knight endgame, and before that the position was absolutely unclear, that is why I was afraid to lose my rook and I was rather worried about that. I saw thia game with bishop d2, but I don't remember how they developed the game there, but I think it was not on b5 for sure, so I was not ready for this move in the opening. It seems to me that after b5 Black had a very good compensation due to the the fact that my knight on a4 was very weak. I think that it was an interesting sacrifice. Maybe White should have developped somehow in a different way, I don't know.
: Ekaterina, your comments...Was it possible to somehow save the situation at the end?
: What do you mean by "not possble"...On the move 40 I was sure to move Nc4 and instead of this I just took a king, knight c4 agreed. As a matter of fact, it was a creative approach, it is not possible to give that amount of time in the opening. In fact, the position was a bit boring. It might be easier to develop it playing White. Objectively there was an equal position since I waisted extra half an hour and was tired. Of course, I wanted to use the rook, but it was not used. Obviously it is a pity. I was sure that I would make this move.
Elina Danielian - Alexandra Kosteniuk
: I got the position in the opening where Black did not have any prolems. When the idea to sacrifice quality came to my mind I could not resist. I could have played a normal move cf5 and we could have got almost equal position. But Ra3 was an interesting sacrifice. Later on my moves were not precise. I should have played d3 at some point. I was calculating something, but I did not like the line Nb1 – Qc2 – Qd2. I did not see any concrete move there. In the reciprocal time trouble our game was like a swing. My opponent sacrificed a pawn and it was very good move. But then we had a very complicated position. I think White should have had a big advantage. But as far as I was calculating, I did not see any concrete loss for Black. In the second time trouble Sasha started to sacrifice all pawns in the king line. Of course it was not correct. She should have player Qe6, Qe6 , fe instead of g4. As a result there was a complicated ending which could not be lost as well according to my calculations. Later on it was just realisation from my side.
: there is a Russian game - sacrificial chess. Looking back to my game it seemed that I decided to play it today. I just sacrificed all in the endgame. Before this I had absolutely different calculations. I thought that I got a slight advantage, I had two bishops after the opening. I would not say that Black could equal everything. I am not sure about my plan with Kd2, for I was calculating that I should have got the position with an isolated pawn. After a4 I decided to go for this position with an exchange. It is clear that Black had a compensation. But the question is whether it was enough. After I played Qb6, Rd1 I estimated that I had an advantage. In the line with Qg5 I blundered a move Nc5 because I was calculating that I could play Qa5 and would get a better endgame - exchange and b pawn.
: I was not afraid of Qa5, for I was exchanging and played Kc5.
: Yes, I was calculating this position, but to my mind White gets an advantage there: b pawn can pass.
: the fact is that a pawn does not pass anywhere. Black has its own game.
: I moved Qg5 for it seemed to me that move h6 was not possible. I thought 26... Сg7 is the only possible move, but then 27. Rc1 Qa1 28. Сxg6 with complications. I decided to calculate more precisely when coming closer to this point. At the moment of sacrifice I did not see any winning position. I think this sacrifice was forced. In the time trouble Black did not play correctly. After f4 I was already playing the sacrificial chess. There were many ways for Black to fight for a draw. In general I did not have a feeling that we had swinging position during the game. Let's say up and down: from a big advantage to an equal position. This was a swinging point, I estimated.
Tatiana Kosintseva - Humpy Koneru
: the game Tatiana Kosintseva - Humpy Koneru was drawn. Tell us about the endgame. What was the situation there?
: from the middle game I think I am having a slight advantage. The pawn structure was good for me. At one point after playing g4 I should have played g5. But is was still not clear. According to the position it seemed that I was slightly better. I prepared this type of position with Ne5 I decided to try something interesting today.
: I think I made a mistake on move 40...Ra2. If I should have played Rb3, we will have draw right away. After my move Ra2 White had got some chances. Most probably when we had bishops, White were too in a hurry to play c5. There was a move on d6 instead of c5. After c5 Bd5 we had a rook endgame. Black needed to play precisely. Perhaps g6 was not correct. But there was a time trouble already. I can say that we had an interesting game today from the very first moves.