Hou Yifan continues dominating in the tournament. Today she won against Ekaterina Kovalevskaya playing Black. The game Danielian - Stefanova also finished in favour of Black. Anna Muzychuk playing White with Alisa Galliamova took advantage after her opponent's mistakes and added one more point to the score sheet. The other games (Kosteniuk-Lufei, Kosintseva N. - Koneru, Kosintseva T. - Lahno) were drawn: three out of them had Spanish Defense in the opening.
Tomorrow Tatiana Kosintseva who occupies the second place in the tournament will face the leader of the tournament Hou Yifan. Only two weeks ago Tatiana Kosintseva and Hou Yifan met at the chess board in the Women's Super tournament in China: at that time the Russian Chess player managed to defeat the World Champion.
Tatiana Kosintseva - Kateryna Lahno
Spanish Defense (Berlin variation) was played in this game. White declined from ambitious development that usually results in endgame and instead preferred the move 4.d3. This game was developed in the equal battle and the pieces were concentrated in the center. The move 26...Kf6 could have been a breaking moment ( black could win a pawn), but Black missed this opportunity. Both participants maintained the pressure, but in the time-trouble they decided not to take risks and entered the equal knight ending.
Ekaterina Kovalevskaya - Yifan Hou
The World Champion surprised the opponent by French Defence (Steinitz variation). Lately this variation of the French Defence is rarely applied on the high level. White got a more pleasant position in the opening. However, the move 24.d4 opened the black bishop and gave the opportunity for black to create a dangerous passed pawn. After the queens exchange, the position of Black remained more preferable and closer to the time-trouble Hou Yifan moved her pawn to d3 and interfered with her rook to e2. White found a possibility to exchange the dangerous passed pawn for two white pawns from the queen's side. Thus, Black got the endgame with an extra pawn. The World Champion developed the endgame very skilfully and led the game to the victory.
Anna Muzychuk - Alisa Galliamova
The game was played in a Sicilian Defence (Scheveningen system). After the opening they got a typical for this opening position where white try to attack on the weakened queen's side, and black get a counterattack on the queen's one moving the pawn "b" and attempting to break the lines for the attack. Black decided to simplify the game by exchanging the queens after 17...Qb6 when a simple 17...ef gave black good chances to develop the initiative. After the queens exchange black got a little bit better position due to two bishops, but made a mistake in the time-trouble having played 30...d3 instead of a simple 30...Be4. White took advantage of it, blocked a dangerous pawn and, having exchanged the rooks, got a winning endgame with the knight against the bishop. White implemented their advantage into a full point by playing precisely.
Alexandra Kosteniuk - Ruan Lufei
In this game they played Spanish Defense (Berlin system). White decided to avoid the main variations and played 4.d3. Black finished the development without any problems and broke the center by 14...d5, and white answered by the counterattack to the center 15.d4. In the followed complications Black remained without a pawn, but they entered the rook-bishop ending with opposite colour bishops. Alexandra Kosteniuk maintained pressure during the whole game, but the Chinese player defended confidently and the game was drawn.
Elina Danielian - Antoanetta Stefanova
In this game Black played Slav Defense (Tchebanenko variation) and White in its turn chose the system with the development of the bishop to g2. Elina Danielian got an advantage in the development and broke the center by playing 14.e4, and Black reacted by strong 14...d4. Then they got pieces play where White sacrificed a pawn for the activity of pieces, however, made a mistake in the time-trouble and remained with rook against knight and bishop of the opponent. Gradually Black led the game to the winning ending.
Nadezhda Kosintseva - Humpy Koneru
Spanish Defense (Borisenko variation) was played in this game. Both opponents placed their pieces in the center and the game was opened with massive exchanges. After the queens exchange they got a bishop - knight endgame with equal number of pawns on the king’s side. The game was finished in a logical draw.