Ekaterina Kovalevskaya - Kateryna Lahno
: how was the preparation for today's game? What was your expectations?
: I was actually expecting the move 1.e4. Move Nf3 was a small present for me. Here Katya plays very principal lines. Thanks to this move, the game was on my field. So, the position was more comfortable for me. The fact is that I have more experience to my mind. In comparisson with the yesterday's sad experience, where I could not make the right moves in the equal position, today's game was developing a bit better for me. Therefore a draw was easy for me.
: As for the question why I have chosen my move Kf3, I cannot open all my secrets to you (laughing). I cannot also say that I was caught in the opening. Every day I prepare myself to fight. There are many moves to start with: Nf3, e4, c4, d4. The most important is to know what to do later on. In general I think that the game was logical today. I don't really know where I could have played better, perhaps in the opening, perhaps later. When we had a position with the opponent's Queen on H3, it became unclear. My bishop was good, but my king was a bit weak, there were constant threats. I could not find anything to improve my position. So, a draw is logical result.
Hou Yifan - Elina Danielian
The World Champion Hou Yifan playing White won the game.
: Did you expect today that you were going to play this variation with f3?
: Yes, I did.
: What about the preparation? Did everything happen as you expected it to or not?
: Of course not. But okey, I think I got a normal position after the opening. Maybe somewhere I should have played better, maybe not bishop g6, maybe rook f8 right away. Ok, it was an interesting position with a lot of interesting ideas for white and black. To my opinion, the critical moment was before castling, because I could play b5 in order to avoid knight c4. Also there was another possibility to play queen c7 right away in order to meet knight c4 with a queen's castling. It was also interesting, but I do not know if I had chosen the best line. I have many doubts about that.
: What about you, Yifan? What about your preparation and were you satisfied with the opening?
Yifan: Actually I did not prepare a lot, after f3 I just thought that this position was very complicated, there were many choices. Queen's castling is a very interesting idea, actually I missed this opportunity for Black during the game. I think after I took on f6 she got a doubled pawns and I had f5 square, this position was already better for me. It was comfortable to play it and I did not see a real defense for my opponent.
Stefanova Antoanetta - Kosintseva Nadezhda
: the game Stefanova - Kosintseva Nadezhda was finished in a draw. Antoanetta, you prepared such an interesting novelty for the chess fans: this nice flower bandlet. Did this make up your mood before the game today?
: well, if you don't play something interesting, at least you should wear something interesting (laughing). As for the game, what can I say. I missed Bishop b6 in the opening. After this the position became equal. Ok, maybe I did not play the best moves, but at least we got the equal position.
: Nadezhda, what do you think? Was the position equal or there were some chances?
: yes, when we finished the opening, the position was equal. In the endgame I think White had more pleasant situation. My avanture with the Ra3, when I let myself go, brought me to some dangerous position, to my mind. I don't know, I have to check with computer of course. There could have been some tricks, but still I think the position was slightly better for White. This rook on a3 was frightening me. In the endgame the position became equal and it was not so dangerous. But still I did not like to play it in the time trouble.
Humpy Koneru - Anna Muzychuk
: the game Koneru-Muzychuk has come to its end. Which expectations did you have today before the game. Did you prepare for something special?
: I played a lot of games with White against Anna Muzychuk. In most of them we played Dutch defence. This time I tried to start a different set up in comparison to my previous games. Perhaps after the opening, I think my move e4 was a bit early. I even doubt that my move Qc2 was correct. Probably I should move my rook first. Later when my opponent made a move 15…Nc5 and 16…a4 Black had very good tactical chances in the position. At one point I tried to lock the position, keeping in mind that the e4 pawn of my opponent is weak but I don’t have a proper piece to attack the pawn. I the end the position was closed, so she could have taken on f4 by rook as well and still it would finish with the same result.
Anna: Yes, Dutch is probably my main line against d4. I play it quite often. Recently I have had many games with this B3 plan. I prepared it a little bit. I agree with Humpy that plan with e4 was a little bit early. I think Bc3 is a good move with idea to wait some time. In one moment I got some counter play and my knight was on B3 and I managed to play e5. So, I think I did not have problems after that. Probably I played Qf5 too early, because after that after f4 it became complicated. The position became suddenly worse for me but still I managed to make a draw.
: were you satisfied with the opening and with the result in general.
: I am used to get this slightly worse position after this opening (lauphing). The result seems ok for me although I did not have any chance to win today.
Alisa Galliamova - Alexandra Kosteniuk
: The game Galliamova - Kosteniuk is drawn. Alexandra, tell me please were you afraid in the opening and did not it seem to you that everything could be over rather fast?
: It seemed that I was afraid, but it was too late to fear anything. I played horribly in the opening and maybe I could have resigned by move 10. Of course, White had many opportunities - there was a possibility to play Nf3 instead of d7, then rook e1, e6 just develop her pieces and even if I took this piece on c3, it would not help me. After d7 at least I had some chances, maybe my position could be better at some moment. I played Qa3 with an idea to exchange queens, but in that position there was another good move Nb5.
: Alisa Mikhailovna, did you miss the move Rh7 after the move d7?
: It seemed to me that the position was absolutely winning, therefore I did not even expect that there would be any resistance. I played this line for the first time, most probably, Sasha did not expect it, and moreover, I completely forgot the line after knight e4 and taking into consideration that I did not remember anything, I decided to play creatively. Everything went well during the opening.
: Yesterday you promised not to sacrifice any more pawns and still...
: What can I do, you have to give up anything starting from the first game (laughing)
: However you managed to somehow concentrate when it was clear that the position was not that easy to be won...Did you manage to get used to the new situation?
: Of course I could not get used to such a drastic change of the situation - it was terrible. Certainly, it was my fault that I lost control and my position was worse, thus it is very hard to adapt when you already consider one point after the 10th move. But at one moment I managed to concentrate mainly thanks to my opponent. I think after queen’s exchange I should have played at least Ne6 trying to enter the position with opposite colour bishops.
Ruan Lufei - Tatyana Kosintseva
: the game Ruan Lufei - Tatyana Kosintseva has been finished. Kosintseva. Share with us your opinion on your game. Ruan, I had a feeling that you wanted to sharpen the position today.
: I thought I had better position and I wanted to sharpen it. But I did not see the move f5. After this move, there was no attack and I was left with a weak pawn. Maybe I should try Rae1. Anyway, I should not give her an opportunity to play f5. Maybe the position would be better. At one point I played g4, without playing this move, I would definitely lose right away. So, I should do something but any way I think its losing position.
: today I was playing Sheveningen variant. To my mind Ruan was playing very quickly today and not precisely. She let her pieces to consolidate. In particular she did not place her Bishop f8 and Knight d7. Different ideas came to our minds in respect of the move e5. As a result, Ruan made this move later. Later on my opponent had to play Nе5, Qd6. Here Black stands better to my mind, there is an initiative. I think the mistake was to move Ne4. After the move on f5, Black had a convincing advantage thanks to weak white separated pawns. White had to hold some measures, like G4. But the position is still weak due to the open king, there were a lot of weak points. In the endgame there was no chances to save the situation. Though I still had to make precise moves.