Wednesday, 03 August 2011
The first round of FIDE Women`s Grand Prix tournament got under way on the 2nd of August. The Mayor of Rostov-on-Don M.A. Chernyshov made the first symbolic move in the game between top seeds Humpy Koneru and Hou Yifan. The opening round passed in a tense struggle on all the boards.
The key game of the 1st round Koneru-Hou who will compete for the chess title in December was ended in favor of the acting Women's Chess Champion.
Аnother resultative game was played between Alisa Galliamova and Kateryna Lahno. Russian GM made an interesting Queen sacrifice but later on she lost the game in complications. The other four games Nadezhda Kosintseva – Danielian, Kovalevskaya-Muzychuk, Stefanova-Lufei, Kosteniuk - Tatiana Kosintseva were drawn. After the end of the round 1 the players shared their impressions on the games.
See comments by GM Vitaliy Kiselev below
Antoaneta Stefanova – Ruan Lufei
Slav Defense was played in the opening. The game started to look close to a draw very quickly but the opponents continued playing. After queens exchange no one doubted the draw. But at this moment Black led its knight to the White’s camp and as a result of it the knight became the reason of big troubles for Black. White took an advantage of the position by using the weakness of the pawn f7, as well as weak position of the black knight. Afterwards Black had a hard choice either to sacrifice the pawn f7 or lose the knight. Black chose the least of evils, but the position still remained complicated. In the time-trouble the Bulgarian player committed a decisive mistake and blundered a pawn that resulted in a draw.
Humpy Koneru - Hou Yifan
It was one of the interesting games of the tournament' favourites who will compete soon for the world chess title. The Nimzovich Defense was played in the opening (Rubinstein variation). At the end of the opening the two competitors repeated the position but the Indian chess player was not happy with a draw playing white and she continued the game. Both of the opponents were trying to keep the maximum pieces on board but closer to the time trouble they started the active exchanges. At the end of the first time control the Indian blundered the mate attack.
Alisa Galliamova – Kateryna Lahno
The Gruenfeld Defense was played in the game. White chose a rare variation having played 5. Qa4 and further they have easily sacrificed queen for three pieces. Kateryna Lahno was playing rather quickly in the opening and accepted the sacrifice that resulted into a weak position. Then the complicated piece game was developed but white could not solve the problem with knight for f3 that was out of play. In the time-trouble white tried to develop the attack for the king, but it turned out that the position of Black was easy to be defended and the material advantage has ensured their victory.
Alexandra Kosteniuk - Tatiana Kosintseva
The game of two Russian chess players - acting Olympic chess champions - was interesting. The Spanish Defense was played in the opening. Black sacrificed a pawn for
an initiative but got a weakened king as a result. Further on Black hold a standard plan to blast the centre 20...d5 and then the game was sharpened by sacrificing exchange. White reacted immediately: the queens were exchanged and White got good chances to win. Further on Alexandra Kosteniuk blundered by moving f4 and the position became drawish.
Anna Muzychuk – Ekaterina Kovalevskaya
This game drew most of the fans attention. No wonder, it is for the first time that the land of Don is holding such a massive event with the participation of its compatriot Ekaterina Kovalevskaya who is loved and appreciated by chess admirers of Rostov-on-Don. The most risky variation of Sicilian Defense was played in the opening. The “square master" spent much time at the beginning of the game and at the press conference she confessed she was aware of this variation, however the first round always demands a lot of concentration and the lack of practice was also the reason.In the time-trouble Ekaterina managed to pass over to the endgame and fully equaled the play. The last doubts on the result of the game were gone when black sacrificed a pawn and led the game to a technically drawn ending.
Nadezhda Kosintseva - Elina Danielian
The Caro-Kann Defense was played in the opening: white played the covered variant and developed the knight b3 and d3 and the bishop e3 in order to slow down the advance move c5. Later on White concentrated in the centre and played c4. This caused the complications for the Black. The opponents got the unclear position with exchange up for Black. The Armenian chess player sacrificed a piece and got a better position but lost the advantage after the move 32...f4. In the time trouble the competitors started to exchange pieces. The endgame was played with a non standard pieces' balance - rook with two pawns against rook and knight. Black gained a draw after a tough defense.