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Games Commentary

Round 9. Report
Friday, 12 August 2011
IMG_7921.jpgAfter the rest day all games passed along in a tense fight. For the first time all 6 games were scored. Ekaterina Lahno managed to stop a non-loosing series of the Womem's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan and put the final result of the first Grand Prix under question again. Although the battle for the first place is still topical. The Rostovite Ekaterina Kovalevskaya made a day to her fans having defeated the tournament rating favourite Humpy Koneru. The Kosintsev sisters Tatiana and Nadezhda won their games against ex-World Champions Antoanetta Stefanova and Alexandra Kosteniuk respectively. The current Russian champion Alisa Galliamova lost to the Armenian chess player Elina Danielian.  Two rounds before the end of the tournament Hou Yifan is leading one point ahead of Tatiana Kosintseva who is on the second place so far. Ekaterina Lahno and Anna Muzychuk share the third place after Round 9.

Nadezhda Kosintseva - Alexandra KosteniukIMG_7896.jpg

Spanish Defense was played in this game. They started with typical for such positions manoeuvring play where Black succeeded a bit more and made White give one piece for two pawns. The disadvantage of Black's position after taking a piece was a weakened king's position. Closer to the time-trouble White captured the third pawn and gained the advantage. On the last decisive moves Black had to give one piece back in order to defend their king from numerous threats. After the first time control there was an endgame with heavy pieces. White had an extra pawn and implemented the advantage into a full point.

Anna Muzychuk - Lufei RuanIMG_7888.jpg

In this game the opponents chose Spanish Defense in the opening with 4.d3. Later on White exchanged two bishops on c6 and f6 and got an unusual position that reminded the exchanging variation of Spanish Defense, but with doubled pawns on the line "f" of Black. Black made an attempt to take advantage of the opened line "g" in order to attack the White king, but Anna Muzychuk has exchanged queens thus prevented its king from threats. Black, having exchanged rooks, passed over to the endgame with bishop against knight, where the White knight dominated its opponent. In this endgame, that seemed drawish from the first glance, the Slovenian chess player set serious problems for the Vice-World Champion that the latter did not manage to solve. 

Elina Danielian - Alisa GalliamovaIMG_7885.jpg

This game was played in Queen's Gambit (Cambridge Springs Defense). White chose the system with cd, Qd2, Rc1 when the pawn on a3 is sacrificed. Further on White overtook the center having played 13.e4. Black were too fast with king's castling and White, having left its king in the center, started attacking on the king's side. Due to the problems with pieces development, Black had to back off by moving 17...-Kh8 after 17.h5. In order to get the knight back to the game Black had to move 19...-f6 and weaken their position. White pieces became more active and their attack started being decisive. On the 34th move Black resigned due to the inevitable mate.   

Tatiana Kosintseva - Antoanetta StefanovaIMG_7878.jpg

The opponents played Caro-Kann Defense (line 3.e5). After exchanging the bishop f5 by means of move 10.Bd3, Black chose a dubious plan with move 11...f5. White took 12.ef and got the play against the weak pawn on e6. Further on White concentrated their pieces in the center and Black in its turn tried their best to fortify their position. The move 22...g5 was a mistake that weakened the king's position, and White took advantage of it by making a decisive attack. In the time-trouble the Ex-World Champion made a mistake by blundering the tactical blow that led her to the loss of the rook.      

Ekaterina Kovalevskaya - Humpy KoneruIMG_7913.jpg

In the Sicilian Defense White played the line with 3.c4 that led to the irregular game. Black prepared a breakthrough d5 that they managed to make on the 11th move, however, before that they weakened their king by the move 10...g5 that caused the problems for black in the future. White reacted to the blow on the center by move 13.b4. White sacrificed a pawn and received a strong initiative that combined the threats to the opponent`s king  and the play on the open files on the Queen's side. After the move 20 White's attack became decisive and Ekaterina Kovalevskaya made an effective blow 23.Rb4 that distracted the Black pieces from defending their king. Black resigned on the 26th move.        

Kateryna Lahno - Yifan HouIMG_7873.jpg

The opponents played the Queen's Gambit (Ragozin Defense) in this game. After the exchange on c3 they got the position that reminded Nimzowitch Defense. White remained with the weak bishop on b2 against the knight on c6. The World Champion played too actively and used a dubious plan by moving her pawn from king h7-h5-h4. White in its turn attacked the center by 21.e4 and then moved their pawn to e5 that fortified their advantage and limited the flexibility of black pieces. The conversion of the white rook on the 3rd line was a decisive move of the game. After this Black had to sacrifice its queen for two rooks in order defend their king. The bishop on e2 became active and its coalition with rooks provided the victory for White.    

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