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Games Commentary

Round 4. Press conference
Friday, 05 August 2011
IMG_6867.jpgStefanova - Kosteniuk

Anastasia: what do you think about your game? In one moment the position looked better for Black...

Alexandra: I am sure I was winning. At least I am sure that I had a big advantage. The pawns of my opponent are weak, the king is weak as well. My pieces were very active. Maybe I am overestimating my position. This is true that I did not have enough time, so I needed to play precisely to convert my advantage into something better. I was spending a lot of time in the middle game. I was thinking about 20 minutes on the move Qc5, I should have made this move immediately. I thought Ra1 is impossible and the only move White had is a4. After Ra1 the position is very dangerous.  

Antoanetta: I did not want to commit myself TO a4, it is difficult. But anyway I played this move later. Obviously I did not play opening very well.  

Anastasia: Antoanetta, did you see at any point the winning move for your opponent which she probably missed?

Antoanetta: No, I did not see any winning move. Normally if you see the winning move, your opponent also sees it and it might be dangerous. Better not to see it - to close your eyes and hope for the best (laughing).  
Elina Danielian - Tatiana KosintsevaIMG_6847.jpg

Anastasia: how was the game developing? Elina played her favorite Caro-Kann that brings her good results.

Elina: yes, again my favorite Caro-Kann, so far it has been "working" very well. I think that during this game everything was going smoothly. It seemed to me that I had a big advantage, but I did not see a precise realization. Maybe everything was not that clear there, I have to look up in the computer.

Tatiana: I did not get much from the opening. There was some kind of a complicated position. THe plan Knight f6 is interesting in this variation. It means that White can play Bishop e3, knight d2. After c5 Black had an initiative and my knight on d3 was not placed well. It would be better if it was on d4 and in this way I had to play knight f2. As a result I did not manage to find anything. Black always had a idea to play d4.

Elina: Yes, probably I should have played d4. However my pieces were not ready for such a move. I will analyse this move by all means, but in any case all the variants that I calculated at this stage led me to a draw. Most probably I should have played bishop f2. It was possible to play G5 as well, but in this case the king position would have become weak. It seemed that the position was also good. But I wanted to find a better resource with minimum chances for my opponent. I did not manage. What to do. 

Kateryna Lahno - Nadezhda KosintsevaIMG_6882.jpg

Anastasia: The game Lahno-Kosintseva is over, White won. What do you think, when was the moment of an advantage and how was the opening going?

Kateryna: To my mind I was lucky today. I thought that the position was equal and even it seemed to me that in the time-trouble Black could have seized. Since we both had little time I think a draw was a consequent result. Nadya made a rough mistake at the end of the time-trouble. It means that the Black position was passive and I continued playing without any risk. Black did not have any space to move. Most probably this was a loosing endgame.

Nadezhda: Yes, the position was absolutely hopeless at the end. When I put my rook on f8. It seemed that I went crazy out of nothing. I cannot even explain why I made such a move, I cannot understand I was in such a fog. Even if there is a time-trouble, it should not be done. Some craziness. Yes, the position was slightly better before. When Katya blundered the idea to move rook on d8, she was trying to checkmate. Perhaps the position was a bit better for Black. Maybe I should have gone G5 instead of G6. Anyway, I don't think Black had any chances. But at least I could have done something and not lose in one move.

Alisa Galliamova- Humpy Koneru

Alisa: This variation I played for the first time, I have not played like this before. I did not expect that White would play Nf3, e3 and I was getting prepared for something else. I liked my position however White’s position was strong. If I had time to play a6-b5 then I would go for the victory. It is just that she played 17. Qb3, 19. Rс1…
I saw the draw. I was afraid to take on h2, because she would play e5, would close the way to the Queen and would start capturing the line. I decided that playing Black for draw with Koneru is also a good result, that is why I played Qd8. Maybe I could have made a stronger move, but I cannot say it now.

Humpy: I think that I played in a usual way for me, but 4. … Bg4 was a new move for me. Before I played several games where I played in another way, but here I decided to go for this variant. I guess Bg5 was not the correct plan of mine. At the end I had  weak King, therefpre I was satisfied with the result.

Hou Yifan-Anna MuzychukIMG_6810.jpg

Anna: Mainly I was preparing for move 15. Be3 instead of 15. Qe2, that is why I did not know the exact order of the moves further on. After move 17. Nd2 I did not know move 17. …Nf4, and I could not calculate the variation until the end. That is why I play in another way. I think that in this case Black had compensation for the sacrificed pawn. Maybe, I should not have exchanged rooks, instead of 25. … h4 I should have simply played 25. … Rf8 and saved the rook for the attack. I completely forgot about the plan with Kf2 and Ke1; after this I tried to fight for the draw. Maybe after 33. …Qf4 I would have had chances to draw the game, however later on the position was lost– my king was getting under checks and the pawns were weak.   

Yifan: Probably Black really should have played 25. … Rf8. I think that at the end I had an advantage, however, initially after h4 this ending was not that clear. Maybe I should have played h3 instead of Qd2, but It seems to me that there is no perpetual check, nevertheless, it is not that easy for White to win.
When I captured the pawn on g7 I had a winning position.

Ruan Lufei – Ekaterina KovalevskayaIMG_6857.jpg

Ekaterina: I did not expect this variant. You seem to know everything, however, if you do not revise – you forget the theoretical part. I had a worse situation but I managed to concentrate. Even at the end the position was worse, fortunately, Lufei exchanged everything and simplified my defense, otherwise, it would have been hard for me to resist.
I did not take the pawn on c4 in the opening, bearing in mind that Bf3 is easier, however, certainly, I was not right – one should play on principle. It was dangerous to take the knight on d6. After Kd6 I did not like the moves c5 and Re5. Of course, fear sees danger everywhere, a computer can advise either to surrender right away or it did not see what Black were doing. It looked like White’s initiative was dangerous and they should have tried to exchange. The knight endgame seem to be drawish, but Black was supposed to play very precisely. For instance, when White played 49. Ke5 I was close to blunder and to play 49. …Nf1 right away where after  move 50. Ne6  I would have had difficulties.

Lufei: I wanted to try this  line. I did not play it before. I am not saying that I am playing “for fun”, I just want to try various openings. I don’t know, probably, I should have sacrificed one more pawn. I think my position was much better.  Though I sacrificed a pawn I had a strong initiative. I think I had enough compensation in case if Black take the Knight on d6, I was planning to continue on h4. I was satisfied with the conversion to the endgame  and it seemed to me my position was better. I had a feeling that despite an extra pawn, probably, it was not enough to win.

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