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Round 4. Report
Friday, 05 August 2011
Hou Yifan keeps making her victory series

IMG_6754 (46).jpgThe fourth round of the Women's FIDE Grand Prix brought another point to the Chinese chess player Hou Yifan. The Marshall attack in the Spanish defense could guarantee a draw for Anna Myzuchuk. But the game was continued and the Chinese player managed to win. Kateryna Lahno won with white against Nadezhda Kosinseva who made a mistake at the end of the first time control and could not hold the worse endgame.

  Other games Humpy Koneru - Alisa Galliamova, Tatyana Kosinseva - Elina Danielian, Ruan Lufei - Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, Antoaneta Stefanova - Alexandra Kosteniuk were finished in a draw. Elina Danielian from Armenia could have gained one more point in her score asset, but she lost the advantage in the time trouble. Before the rest day Hou Yifan leads in the tournament, having increased the gap from the closest chaser Kateryna Lahno to 1.5 points. 

Comments by GM Vitaly Kiselev
IMG_6762 (54).jpgHumpy Koneru - Alisa Galliamova

This game was played by the World Champion Title runner-up and the Russian Champion. Both opponents won in the previous rounds and would be glad to continue playing in the same way. They played Slav Defense, but White chose not a very principle continuation having played cd and maintained a rather stable position that looked like exchanged Slav Defense. This tournament the Indian chess player prefers to chose peaceful positions without complications. The game turned out to the position with opposite castlings with a little better black pawns structure. White decided to maintain the dynamic equality by taking a pawn, but Black managed to force the draw by repeting the position that was actually done in the game. As Alisa Galliamova confessed at the Press Conference: "To draw the game with Koneru playing Black is a good result!"

Hou Yifan - Anna Muzychuk
IMG_6726 (18).jpg

The game between the two leaders drew a special attention of the fans. They played a Spanish Defense (Marshall Attack) that can be applied only possessing appropriate theoretical knowledge. We could see that Anna Muzychuk was perfectly prepared, however after 15.Qе2 she took time to think over for the first time and, as she confessed later, this variation was not studied thouroughly. That is why she missed the opportunity to force the draw that was possible after 17...Nf4. The Chinese chess player was precisely defending and the 25th move turned out to be decisive when Muzychuk let her opponent exchange rooks and convert the game to a technically winning endgame.

IMG_6734 (26).jpgTatiana Kosintseva - Elina Danielian

    This time the Armenian chess player playing Black had to face the younger sister of Kosintsevs. Elina Danielian repeated the opening by playing Caro-Kann Defense. Tatiana played 4.Се3 in the closed varition and did not repeat the variation from the game of the 1st round of Nadezhda where the latter played Nd2 against Elina. Black played the typical for such positions plan and moved the Knight first to h6 and then to f5, where White exchanged this Knight. Black remained with doubled pawns on "h" file, but received the two bishops advantage as compensation. Elina Danielian has implemented a very strong cplan by moving her bishop from g7 to c5; the bishops became strong and Black received an obvious advantage. Then Black managed to double the rooks along the second line but they missed the opportunity to get an advantage by exchanging two rooks for a queen. As a result Elina Danielian made a mistake and after the time control they got a drawish rooks endgame.

Lufei Ruan - Ekaterina KovalevskayaIMG_6730 (22).jpg

  Ekaterina Kovalevskaya was very firm and played Sicilian Defense. Ruan Lufei played 3.Bb5 variation and sharpened the position by sacrificing a pawn. They received an unusual position with a strong Black pawns center and White's activity. The Russian chess player had problems with King's position and already by the 20th move her time was getting over. She started playing faster and did not find defending moves. After the time-trouble they got the Knight endgame 2 against 1 pawns on the King's side. By their precise play Black themselves ensured a draw.

Antoanetta Stefanova - Alexandra KosteniukIMG_6725 (17).jpg

  The Queen's Indian Defense with the move 4.Cb4 was played in the game. Antoaneta Stefanova defended from the check by the means of the Knight instead of a more popular bishop defense. An interesting pieces battle developed on the chess board, Black got an advantage due to the weakness of the pawns structure on the White's king side, however, instead of the problematic 35...Qd7 Black played 35...Qe7, White managed to beat off the Black's attack by the precise defense. After the queens exchange they faced the endgame where White had better chances, but after the precise play from both sides the game was drawn. 

Kateryna Lahno - Nadezhda KosintsevaIMG_6745.jpg

  White chose Reti's opening, but finally they received a non-standard position that looked like Catalan opening. The game developed in a very interesting fight; exchanges followed closer to the time-trouble and after the control they received the endgame with opposite color bishops. The material advantage (Black had an extra pawn) did not play a big role and was not so important due to the white piece's activity. In the time-trouble Black started playing inaccurately and got a worse position. At the end of the second time control Black made another mistake and had to defend worsee endgame. White managed to win by playing precisely in the ending. 

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