Round 8 of the Women's FIDE Grand Prix has finished. Two games were scored: Women's ex-World Champion Antoanetta Stefanova won her second game in a row against Ekaterina Kovalevskaya. The Runner-up of the last year Women's World Chess Championship Ruan Lufei did not plan to go for a victory but overcame Katerina Lahno by using several mistakes of the opponent. Other games Alisa Galliamova - Nadezhda Kosintseva, Humpy Koneru - Elina Danielian, Alexandra Kosteniuk - Anna Muzychuk as well as the game of two leaders of the tournament Hou Yifan and Tatiana Kosintseva were drawn. Before the second rest day the situation in the standings did not change: Hou Yifan leads, having lost only 1 point in all her previous games. Tatiana Kosintseva, placed second, is 2 points behind of World Champion. Humpy Koneru, Anna Myzuchuk, Antoanetta Stefanova and Katerina Lahno share the third place after Round 8.
Alisa Galliamova - Nadezhda Kosintseva
The Russian chess players chose Queen's Gambit in this game (Ragozin Defense). The opponents exchanged queens very quickly and got an equal rook-bishop ending. However, Black managed to complicate the position and after the move 28...Rс5 they faced some problems. White had to play precisely and managed to find the move 29.е3 after which they got an equal endgame that was resulted in a draw.
Lufei Ruan - Kateryna Lahno
Scotch Defense was played in this game. White sacrificed a pawn in the opening to gain the initiative, but Black decided to render it in the middle game in order to neutrilize White activity. White continued the attack on the queen's side and Black in its turn - on the king's side. On the 33rd move White offered a draw by repeating the position, but Black refused by moving the king to a6 instead of Kb6. The position of White was a little better, they took a pawn and exchanged a couple of rooks. They got a rooks endgame with "a" and "b" pawns against Black pawn "h". On the 46th move Blak made a mistake and missed a draw possibility by playing 46...-Rh1 that resulted in zugzwang after several moves. Instead of the chosen continuation the move 46...-Rg2 could have saved the game. As a result Black lost a passed pawn and resigned right away.
Humpy Koneru - Elina Danielian
This game was played in a Slav Defense (the line with 4...dc 5.a4- Bf5). White got an advantage of two bishops at the end of the opening having exchanged its knight for a bishop on g6. In its turn Black attacked the center 16...е5 and exchanged the pair of bishops. After the queens exchange they got a rook-knight endgame 2 and 3 on the queen's side and 3 and 2 on the king's one. Having exchanged all pawns, the opponents agreed for a draw.
Antoatena Stefanova - Ekaterina Kovalevskaya
The Queen's Gambit (Tarrasch Defense) was played in this game. Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, having played this opening once again, prepared Swedish variation with move 9...-с4. White exchanged knights on c6 and doubled the Black pawns on "с" line. The Ex-World Champion took advantage of it and played 12.b3. Further on Black played 15.bc-dc 16.e4 that let White take both the center and the initiative, and their pieces started interferring the opponent's weak fields. White moved the pieces to the center and made a preassure on the weak pawn "с4". In the time-trouble, after the exchange of the pawn с4 to е4, Black put the knight under the dangerous pin on "b" line and further on remained without a piece. After a couple of moves Black resigned.
Alexandra Kosteniuk - Anna Muzychuk
Anna Muzychuk once again played Dutch Defense (Leningrad variation). White chose the development system with Bishop on g2 and d5. Black in their turn played 9...-с5, that let White play on the queen's side and Black on the king's one. After exchanging of pair of knights on e4 Black continued 16...-fe and got a strong flexible center, while White - the pair of passed "а" and "b" pawns. After the queens exchange White got a small advantage due to a couple of bishops, however, Black distracted the opponent's attention by moving their central pawns, while blocking a dangerous passed "b" pawn. After the exchange of black field bishops they faced the equal endgame.
Yifan Hou - Tatiana Kosintseva
The leaders of the tournament chose a very popular forced variation of Spanish Defense that ends in a draw. Both opponents decided to have an extra rest day before tomorrow's official one.